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"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"!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

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KMT apologies mean nothing

The return of the sons of "The Boy[s] Who Cried Wolf"

Remember what I wrote less than two weeks ago about "Ma Ying-jeou's thugs"? [highlighting added]:
If these four legislators did this without Ma's or KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung's (吳伯雄) knowledge or permission, shouldn't they be kicked out of the party? (Pre-completion update: Fai has offered to quit the party, but he wasn't kicked out.) If Ma and/or Wu did know about it, shouldn't they step down from their respective positions? And are the KMT's "apologies" really apologies when caucus whip Lin Yi-shih says that "these four legislators didn't do anything wrong." Is he advocating Gestapo-like tactics? What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Furthermore, can the KMT's "apologies" really count as apologies when a front-page ad in Thursday's United Daily News (聯合報) has Wu making the excuse that they "went to the wrong place at the wrong time"? Would it have been okay at "another time"?
But that was yesterday
Well, they've gone and proven my point about those non-apology "apologies." Let's take a look at some more recent behavior from thug-islators Alex "The Faker" Fai (費鴻泰) and son-of-a-gangster Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才), with comparisons to their earlier "apologies" provided by the Thursday night edition of Talking Show (大話新聞):


2:30 YouTube video: "KMT apologies aren't real apologies"

Those "apologies" sure didn't last long, huh? Or, as I originally suspected, they were meaningless from the start.

Blues of a feather
President-elect Ma "Harvard-trained ployer" Ying-jeou's (馬英九) Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has done the same thing by making "token gestures" to the survivors and family members of the victims of the 228 Massacre. Ma has also made election-related "promises" to the same victims. Ma and his party's insincerity is made apparent by the fact that they continue to idolize Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石 / 蔣中正) -- the "main culprit" in both that incident and the subsequent decades-long period of White Terror and martial law in Taiwan.

With the above information to set the stage, how long do you think it will be before Ma and his party try to resurrect the old Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (國立中正紀念堂)?

UPDATE: The very next day after I wrote the paragraph above, look what Mr. Ma told the China Times (中國時報):
The DPP government had changed the name of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall and replaced the inscription dazhong zhizheng (大中至正) on the gate of the hall with "Liberty Square" last May as part of its "de-Chiang campaign," aimed at erasing symbols of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

"Illegally changing the name of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was ill-mannered and was, of course, invalid," Ma was quoted as saying in an interview with the Chinese-language China Times published yesterday.
You can also read about it in the China Post.

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

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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First Thing After Ma Ying-Jeou Elected: Pay Off Local Chiefs


KMT's lawmakers (top to bottom), Yang Chiung-Ying (楊瓊纓), Chu Fong-Chi (朱鳳芝) and Ting Shou-Chung (丁守中) are pushing a resolution to pay oversea travel expenses for local district chiefs.
It's only 2 days after Ma Ying-jeou was elected the President of Taiwan, and the lawmakers of his party, Chinese KMT, can't wait to pass resolutions to pay off local Chun-,Li- Zhangs (村里長), heads of small local districts who help handling and resolving local affairs, including helping the presidential voting in their own districts.

It's long been known that KMT has deeper root in the locals. That's, maintaining better relationships with these local district chiefs -- following KMT's long history of local managements. DPP, in contrary, either pays much less attention to them, or the approaches DPP applied failed miserably.

Yesterday (3/25/2008), the 2nd business day after Ma was elected, Chinese KMT's lawmakers submitted resolutions to pay these locals.

Yang Chiung-Ying (楊瓊纓), Chu Fong-Chi (朱鳳芝) and Ting Shou-Chung (丁守中) submitted a resolution "Compensation to Chun-, Li-Zhangs' Oversea Travel expenses" (補助村里長出國考察) to add "oversea travel funds" to the compensations given to local district chiefs.

Instead of sourcing the funds from local governments like the current law (「地方民代費用支給及村里長事務費補助條例」) requires, this resolution, an amendment to the current one, requires that the additional compensation be paid for by the central government.

Since this resolution requires a huge budget, it is expected to raise suspicions, especially when the government is in grave debt and doesn't seem to have funds for this.

Yang Chiung-Ying explains:

"Broadly defined, Chun-Li Zhangs are government officials. People like military personnel, government officials, teachers and people's representatives all have compensations. We shouldn't leave Chun-Li- Zhangs behind."

But every local chief already receives 45,000 NT dollars per month (~ roughly 1,500 US dollars per month). The new resolution doubles it.

For your information, a Kapitan in Malaysia, a local district chief similar to a Chun-Li Zhang in Taiwan, receives roughly 150 US dollars a month, and that's after a recent adjustment from ~83 US dollars a month.

Yang argues,

"That's not enough. They need to travel oversea at least once every other year to relax and expand their views."

Huh? Why?

So, now, the central government is gonna pay for oversea travels for these local district chiefs ?

Ok, how much money are we talking about here?

Yang responds -- take a deeeeep breath, guys --

"I don't know. I didn't calculate it. But the resolution has to be passed in this session."

So you wanna pass a law to take money from Taiwanese pockets, but you don't even bother to calculate how much money you are talking about?

And no matter how large the amount is, "it has to be passed in this session" ??? She sounded like she will have to run for life if it isn't passed in this session.

So, hand over your money gracefully, fellow Taiwanese !

According to DPP, the resolution requires more than 5,000 million NT dollars (五十幾億, that's, more than 170 million US dollars), which is difficult for the central government to deal with. Besides, it should be local government's business, there's no reason to ask the central government to pay.


Yang Jen-Fu (楊仁福, top) and Lin Chien-Jung (林建榮, bottom)
Other resolutions regarding senior citizen compensations, submitted by Yang Jen-Fu (楊仁福), Lin Chien-Jung (林建榮) and others, require that the compensations to senior citizens be doubled.

Again, when asked how much it involves, Yang Jen-Fu has no idea at all.

So, after Ma Ying-Jeou emphasized for months how urgent it is to fix Taiwan's economy, the first thing Ma and his people do right after him being elected is to pay off local district chiefs, using central government's money, no matter how much it takes and has to do it RIGHT NOW !

Ma Ying-Jeou is really "fixing" the economy for ya all, isn't he?

Hey, hold on ... they do it legally ! They have the majority in the Legislative Yuan, they can do whatever they want, remember? This is what ya all wanted, isn't it ?

~~~ Fading into the background : What? we don't know how much it is? Who cares ! We are gonna pass it anyway ! ~~~

[Source : Blue pushes for money pit resolutions right after the election]
大選結束 藍委急推錢坑法案
中時電子報╱姚盈如、高有智/台北報導 2008-03-26 03:44

總統選舉剛結束,「完全執政」的藍營,就急著在立法院提出「錢坑法案」?立法院廿五日程序委員會上,國民黨立委楊瓊纓所提的補助村里長出國考察,以及楊仁福所提的敬老津貼、原住民敬老津貼皆從三千元加碼到六千元等修正案,都在藍營人數優勢下排入周五院會報告事項。

由於這些法案都需要龐大預算支撐,在財源無著的情況下,預料將引發外界質疑。

補助村里長 兩年出國一次

現行「地方民代費用支給及村里長事務費補助條例」第七條規定,村里長的事務補助費由鄉鎮市區公所編列,每個村里每月不得超過四萬五千元。

國民黨立委楊瓊纓、朱鳳芝和丁守中等人提出修正案,希望在事務補助費之外,再增加村里長的健康檢查費、保險費、春節慰問金及出國考察費費等預算;上述費用連同原本的事務補助費,草案中都改由中央買單。

楊瓊纓表示,村里長是廣義公務員,也是最基層的地方代表,軍公教人員和民意代表都有「春節慰問金」,不應獨漏村里長。

雖然現在村里長每個月都有四萬五的事務補助費,但楊瓊纓認為,村里長是等於廿四小時都上班,還要應付地方紅白帖,大的村里人口甚至可達一萬多人,里長比縣議員還累,「四萬五根本不夠用!」她認為村里長最起碼也要兩年出國一次,「讓村里長可以出國增廣見聞、舒展身心。」

讓村里長增加這麼多「好康」,到底要增加多少預算?

楊瓊纓坦承,她沒有算過。但她強調,這個法案攸關基層村里長權益,「這屆一定要過!」只要國民黨執政把餅做大,財政上應該不會有問題。

但民進黨團幹部私下透露,這個法案要內政部多支出五十幾億,財政有困難;而且村里事務是地方自治事項,硬要中央出錢,制度上也不合理。

敬老津貼 三千元加到六千

楊仁福、林建榮等人則是提出敬老津貼和原住民敬老津貼比照老農年金,從三千元加碼到六千元的修正案,理由是「物價上漲,敬老津貼也應該跟著漲,才能達到照顧老人的目的。」但津貼全面加碼要增加多少預算,楊仁福自己也不知道

國民黨政策會執行長林益世表示,雖然這幾個法案關乎財政支出,但目前大家看到的內容只是委員初步提案,通常在付委審查、還有朝野協商後,內容都會有所調整。

他說,楊瓊纓和楊仁福的提案,事前的確有人建議擋下,但他個人傾向採取開放態度,他認為,只要不是涉及政治衝突、或政府體制變動的法案,基本上都不應該擋,最好儘量讓法案付委審查,充分討論後再做決定。
[source]

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

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Walk out from your nutshells, TI supporters !!

Michael in his blog mentioned a language issue that he and his kids encountered in the campaign gatherings of pan-green:

Every speech was in Taiwanese, except part of one (KMT rallies offer a mix). My kids sat there bored, addressed by people who couldn't be bothered to find a way to talk to the two Taiwan citizens I am raising.

and in a meeting of FAPA:

It was painful to watch. Sometimes I contemplate taking out ROC citizenship, but the brave new world they advocate doesn't include me or my children -- and if a strong supporter like me gets that vibe, how then the young on the street who chatter in a delightfully liquid lingo that is predominately Mandarin, with leaven of Taiwanese and English? Every person at the FAPA meet was older than I, and they were speaking Taiwanese. Not one speaker or two, but Every. Single. One. As I listened to a bunch of speeches in a language I didn't understand -- every word reinforcing my overwhelming alienness, one of the photographers standing next to me turned to camera guy next to him and remarked, rhetorically: "Why are they speaking that language? I don't understand a word they are saying!" Not one of those people took the time to compose and deliver their speech in Mandarin, a language spoken by everyone in the room -- and, mind you, a language understood by the people they most urgently need to communicate with: the Chinese. Of course there was no English, the language of the international media. Brilliant to hold a press event in a language the press don't speak.

I am very sympathetic to Michael's situation about this.

It's been a very long time since I started voicing the same view of Michael's to those die-hard TI (Taiwan Independence) supporters. The first time I reminded them was in a talk given by a TIer in a university IN USA. YES, IN USA, and he spoke Taiwanese !!! Without any translation to English, not to mention to Maderin !

It was at a time when China didn't look so huge. Many oversea Chinese students never had a chance to learn about Taiwan democracy development, and are very earger to learn more.

So they went to the talk, but couldn't understand a single word. One of them raised the issue to the speaker, requesting a translation service --- at least to English. The speaker refused and remarked,

"We have the right to speak what we want. It's your own problem that you can't understand."

I was so shocked and in disblief. After the talk I told them if you want to deliver your idea, speak something people understand. Otherwise, don't waste your time.

It's been more than 10 years. I couldn't believe these die-hard ancient TI fighters never learned. If there's only one single organization that can deliver strong TI messages in multilanguages, FAPA is probably the one. Yet they chose to cuddle among themselves. I really wonder what they expect to achieve by hugging to keep each other warm. To me they are filled with so much hatred that clouds their minds in a way that "feeling good" is far more important than "winning the battle."

To me, it is equivalent to treating themselves as pity victims. In that sense they don't really need opponents.

And, I am telling you, the language thingy is just only one of many "out-dated, suicidal behaviors" they have. There have been so many times I almost gave up fighting with them for their other certain-death approaches.

Certainly, they don't think they are suicidal. They call it "principle" --- "Without principles we have nothing."

Yea right. Look what we have now.

Anyway, I am with you, Michael. There's a long way ahead.

Update: Unlike those English-as-the-first-language people who are most likely to complain about this situation, I was born and raised in Taiwan. I speak fluently in Taiwanese, Mandarin and English. I was raised in a way that you don't speak secret language in front of others. If one of our Mandarin-speaking friends jumps in when we are talking in Taiwanese, we all switch to Mandarin and continue the topic. When we came to USA, if an English-speaking friend came to our party, we all switch our tone to English, even when many of us are really terrible at it. My family behave that way, and friends I met behave that way.

As a result, it becomes a basic politeness for me to respect visitors by not leaving them in darkness. Therefore, the strong resistance of TI supporters to Mandarin in a situation where they need it most looks alien to me.

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Ma Ying-jeou is not a lawyer

... so stop saying that!

Taiwan's president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) graduated from Harvard Law School, but unlike his opponent Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and his predecessor Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Ma never passed the bar exam.

Yet a simple Google search locates multitudinous examples of people calling Ma a "lawyer." Where did this meme come from, and can it be stopped? That all depends on whether you, the reader, fall for the media's lies.

Count the lies and measure the flattery
Look who's fluffing Ma Ying-jeou!

With Saturday's election results putting Ma's win at the top of Google News' English-language page, and with the lie about him being right in the first sentence of so many articles, it's more than I can silently endure.

Lies about Ma Ying-jeou
A March 23, 2008 search of Google News for
["Ma Ying-jeou" "Harvard-educated lawyer"]

Notice the article from the Malaysia Sun there, which is already calling Ma "president" almost two months prior to his inauguration instead of "president-elect."

Furthermore, his party isn't just called "the Nationalists" or "the Nationalist Party" -- it's the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT or 中國國民黨), as the Mandarin version of their own web site and political ads will tell you:

The first two characters mean ''Chinese''
Why doesn't most of the English-language media
use the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) full name
like the party does in Mandarin on its own web site?

A-gu (阿牛) tells us that the China Times (中國時報) is saying that "79% are happy about Ma's victory." How is that even possible when he only got 58.45% of the vote? (Yo, Raj, the key word is "happy.")

All the "fluffing" has got to stop. Come May 20, 2008, let's see if the media treats Ma the same way they did Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen. They're already calling his wife "Big Sister Mei-ching."

Peace?
People are suggesting that things will be more peaceful with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the presidential office and with a 3/4 majority in the legislature. I'd like anybody who believes that to take a look at this collection of recent clips of the pots who would call kettles black:


0:31 YouTube video: "Is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) better than the DPP?"


Silver linings?
Ma's willingness (so far) to use English with the international media may let more people around the world hear his moment-to-moment self-contradictions. Then again, that would require a slightly diligent media instead of one that acts as his "fluffer."
- - -
* Well, he might be considered an "abogado" in Mexico, but not too many other places.

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

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

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Results of Taiwan's 2008 presidential election

Getting graphic

The Sunday Taipei Times has the election results online in graphic form, available as a PDF download.

There are also three articles on the two failed referendums:
* Referendums fail to meet thresholds

* ANALYSIS: Referendum failure could bring necessary reforms [plus a graphic containing translated ballots and pie charts]

* Torn ballots, some arrests reported as the nation votes
The short story is that because of the Chinese Nationalist Party''s (KMT) on-again, off-again boycott of both referendums, the threshold was not met for either one. Therefore, even though 94.01% of the ballots cast for the DPP said "yes" to their proposal to join the United Nations (UN) using the name "Taiwan," and more than 84% of those cast for the KMT-proposed/-boycotted referendum to "'rejoin' the international body using the name 'Republic of China' or any other 'practical' title that would uphold the country's dignity" also said "yes," both referendums failed. There's also the issue of the US government's "denunciation" of the referendums.

Much more info behind those links, including some partisan arrests for suspected vote buying which was nothing like the discussions in non-hushed tones that happened right in front of me yesterday.

The tautology of not throwing hissy fits
Another article gets the headline "Foreign observers laud peaceful poll." Duh! The simple reason it was peaceful is because DPP supporters don't riot when their candidates lose elections, unlike the KMT, which has done so many times before. Be sure not to miss Lien Chan's (連戰) low-class hissy fit described within that very article.

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

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

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Ma Ying-jeou wins Taiwan presidency

Back to square one for Taiwan's democracy

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has won today's presidential election. The web site of Taiwan's Central Election Commission (CEC) says that Ma obtained 58.45% of the vote (7,658,724 votes), and that his only competitor, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) of the DPP, got 41.55% (5,445,239 votes). With 17,321,603 eligible voters this time around, that gives a turnout of 75.65%, despite the good weather which defied forecasts all across Taiwan.

None of the "dirty tricks" the KMT claimed the DPP would pull came to be, including fires, accusations of sexual misconduct, assassination attempts, or surprise press conferences.

And since the KMT candidate won, there are no riots tonight like there were in 2004, which is about the only "positive" thing I have to say about this.

What's next?
A-gu (阿牛) has some good suggestions about changes the DPP needs to make. I'll save my own thoughts on this for later, but I think his suggestions are a good start.

In the meantime, there will obviously be a lot more fluffing of Ma Ying-jeou by the media, as indicated by this BBC profile of Ma whose first sentence begins, "The US-educated lawyer..."

Ma studied law, but he is not a lawyer because he never passed the bar exam.

Keep an eye out for articles in the English-language media which will say that Ma has "brought peace to Taiwan." As I hinted at above, the lack of pan-blue riots may seem "peaceful," but when pan-blue legislators come show up at your door doing "surprise inspections" or when you go through a "trial by pan-blue media," the feeling will be a bit different. Also, the kind of "peace" the media will be describing is that which comes from kowtowing to the bullies in Beijing who had no right to begin with to create the difficulties that have been faced by Taiwan.

By the way, how many of you readers would sell your vote -- and, therefore, your country and your freedom -- for NT$1,300 (~US$42.62), or even 1,000 times that amount? I really want to know.

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

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Rocking Taiwan's vote

Punk the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)

Jonathan Adams recently wrote about Taiwan's DPP supposedly losing the youth vote, backing up his claims with numbers from the very blue United Daily News (聯合報) and all sorts of pan-blue talking points. Well, it certainly won't be the case if Freddy Lim (林昶佐) has anything to say about it.

Take a look at the can-do attitude and positive energy displayed in the music videos below, which I hope to see reflected across Taipei and all of Taiwan today:


向逆轉隊致敬,我們一定逆轉勝!
(Translation: Saluting the comeback team: We'll surely turn the tide!)
Video via the Freddy Action blog.


3:45 YouTube video: "逆轉.勝 守護台灣 FreddyAction"
(Translation: Comeback victory, protect Taiwan)

At the March 16, 2008 DPP rally in Taichung's Gancheng Park (干城公園), I saw more young people than I usually notice at such events.

Horny babes - Hosted by ImageShack
Sexy babes light up the campaign merchandise table
at the March 19, 2008 DPP rally in Taichung
(Click to view full resolution image)

Frank Hsieh and Su Tseng-chang - Hosted by ImageShack
Candidates Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) between bows
(Click to view full resolution image)

Never give up. Let's see Taiwan headed towards a bright future!

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

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Monday, March 17, 2008

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What does "peace" mean to the Chinese government?

Tanks in Tibet?

A few things to remember:
* May 23, 1951: Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet

* March 10, 1959: Anti-CCP sentiment results in the Tibetan uprising and a counterattack by the Chinese military kills tens of thousands of Tibetans.

* March 5 - 8, 1989: Thousands march in Lhasa to protest Chinese rule. Hu Jintao oversees imposition of martial law and "introduce[s] a system of control which permeate[s] all aspects of Tibetan life that [is] unprecedented since the Cultural Revolution in Tibet."

* June 4, 1989: The Chinese army kills an unknown number of student democracy activists in and around Tiananmen Square by shooting them with machine guns and running them over with tanks. Countless others are beaten, and jailed.

* April 4, 1990: The Seventh National "People's" Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of China adopts the Hong Kong Basic Law, which says that "the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years" after the July 1, 1997 handover.

* July 1, 1997: Hong Kong's sovereignty is returned to China.

* July 1, 1999: Just two years after the Hong Kong Basic Law went into effect, Beijing has already reversed the decision of the Court of Final Appeal in an immigration case, casting doubt upon China's definition of "50 years."

* March 14, 2005: China enacts a so-called "anti-secession" law which "legislates" the arbitrary use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan.

* March 2, 2008: Icelandic singer Bjork performs "Declare Independence" in Shanghai, China and chants "Tibet, Tibet, raise your flag." The crowd goes wild. The UK Guardian portrays the event differently. (Of course "concertgoers hurriedly left" -- it was the last song of the show. Duh!)

* March 12, 2008: Chinese police fire tear gas on protesting Tibetan monks

* March 15, 2008: YouTube blocked in China, Tibet content likely to blame

* March 15, 2008: CNN is blocked in China.

* March 15, 2008: Hu Jintao re-elected as president amid Tibet turmoil, as if there's some kind of democracy in China. Even though he was the only "candidate," he somehow lost 0.3 percent of the "vote."

* March 15, 2008: China accuses 'Dalai clique' of masterminding Lhasa violence

* March 15, 2008: China gives Tibetan protesters surrender ultimatum

* March 15, 2008: "Witnesses said tanks and soldiers were out in force in Lhasa."

* March 15, 2008: In pure Orwellian form, Xinhua says Armed police rescue 580 people from Lhasa riot

* March 15, 2008: Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) says that the "ROC" government "is willing" to "give" Tibet autonomy (1:11 mark in the video behind that link), as if he actually has the imperial powers he imagines that he does. (Maybe he'll "grant" already-independent Mongolia "eventual independence" [終極獨立], too.)

* News reports are saying that "Chinese police have killed about 100 Tibetan demonstrators and injured many more," according to the Tibetan government-in-exile, while Xinhua is still reporting the number of casualties as "10."

* March 15, 2008: The ever-kowtowing Ma Ying-jeou -- perhaps more confused than usual because of the presidential campaign and his thugs getting caught -- chooses the strangest time to bring up a "peace treaty" with China. Anybody in their right mind would use this opportunity to put some political pressure on these lying murderers who have repeatedly demonstrated that they will kill you in the blink of an eye.

* August 8, 2008: Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, AKA the Genocide Olympics. Will people around the world open their eyes and boycott the world's largest, most horrific example of propaganda ever? Or will the "if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em" attitude allow them to gain the hegemony they've always desired?
With that information before you, you must wonder, what do the words "peace," "autonomy," and "50 years" mean to the government of China? They apparently have different definitions than the rest of the world.

HEY, WORLD! WAKE THE FUCK UP!

FURTHER READING:
* English translation of Tibet's version of the Seventeen-Point Agreement.

* English translation of China's version of the Seventeen-Point Agreement. (Note the use of the words "ethnic group" where Tibet's version uses the word "nationality.")

* A Simplified-Chinese version of the Seventeen-Point Agreement via gov.cn.

* "Nine Years After Hong Kong's Handover: An Analysis" (via mac.gov.tw) [.PDF, .HTML]

* Read how Hong Kong was originally supposed to be able to "cast ballots for their chief executive as early as 2007," but that's since been "reinterpreted" as maybe "2017."

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

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

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Ma Ying-jeou's thugs

Gestapo, 2008?

SUMMARY: Four legislators from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) -- a party which frequently claims their opponents will use "dirty tricks" (奧步) to win the election -- initiated actions this past Wednesday which arrogantly overstepped their authority. Just 10 days before the presidential election, the legislators intruded into the campaign headquarters of those very opponents under the guise of conducting an "inspection." Such things are supposed to be handled by prosecutors (檢察官) with warrants.

Although it doesn't appear that they actually gained access to the campaign offices, they did abuse their authority by refusing the building's first-floor security's demands for them to sign in and by imagining that they have any such power to conduct "inspections" of private property.

DPP candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) summed things up quite well with this analogy:
[...] it is all nice and well that Ma apologized, but it shows he cannot control his party's legislators.

As Ma yesterday said that it was a public issue whether Hsieh's campaign was illegally leasing the office building, Hsieh said he had no problem discussing the issue. However, it was another issue for KMT legislators to barge into his campaign headquarters and then condemn the violence of his [meaning Hsieh's] team members.

"It is to mistake the effect for the cause," he said. "It is like a woman who is sexually harassed by a man and slaps the man on the face. The man turns around and then accuses the woman of brutality."
Whether they got "in the door" or not is not the issue here. It's about their intentions.

The DPP has subsequently produced the lease for their office space for the public to view and make up their own minds:

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The lease agreement
(Hsieh's campaign rented the office space under
the company name 「美夢成真」, or "Dreams Come True")
(Click image to enlarge)
(See also the article which accompanied the above image in the Liberty Times [自由時報] print edition)


On Friday, KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) was still "urging the Executive Yuan to investigate whether or not Hsieh's camp had occupied the bank's property for free." Read on, and see behind the multiple curtains of this crazy mess.

(REMINDER: Hovering your cursor on most links in my posts will reveal extra information in a small pop-up.)

Villainy and vengeance
Wednesday evening, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Alex Fai (費鴻泰) (caucus whip), Chen Chieh (陳杰), Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才), and Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) (an officer in Shih Ming-teh's [施明德] "redshirt" army [紅衫軍]) went to DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) campaign headquarters in Taipei looking for information they claimed would show an illicit relationship between Hsieh and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) or that Hsieh's campaign was either paying unfairly-reduced rent or none at all.

It began earlier in the afternoon with an interpellation of First Bank manager (總經理) Huang Hsien-chuan (黃獻全) and Minister of Finance Ho Chih-chin (何志欽) at the Legislative Yuan by Alex Fai during which Fai says he wants the two others to accompany him to DPP headquarters the following morning, then suddenly changes his mind and wants to go "right away" (馬上). See the flip-flop between the 3:33 and 3:43 marks in the video below.


7:16 YouTube video: "大話新聞 2008-03-12 Part 1-1"

According to an article in Thursday's Taiwan News, they used the excuse that they were doing a "fire inspection." After the four ignored first-floor security, went up to Hsieh's office on the thirteenth floor, and then took the elevator down to the third floor -- where they were blocked in by campaign staff -- police were called to the scene. When police arrived, they began to escort the four legislators away (no one was being placed under arrest), but a large crowd had apparently already gathered outside.

Son-of-a-gangster Lo Ming-tsai fled the scene amidst the pushing and shoving going on between DPP supporters and the many police who were outside the offices. These supporters wanted to legally detain the three remaining suspects until prosecutors arrived. The police were able to remove the KMT legislators from the scene a couple of hours later after prosecutors finally arrived to verify the DPP's claims and the DPP unblocked the exits.

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Alex Fai (費鴻泰) on Thursday
I'm no Dr. Bill Frist, but I can detect neither an ear injury
nor any signs of brain activity by watching this guy on TV.
(Click image to enlarge)


As the KMT legislators were making their way to the police car, someone in the huge crowd that formed outside appears to have landed or nearly landed a blow on or just behind Fai's right ear, but in the footage of him "apologizing" for the incident Thursday afternoon, a medium close-up (above) didn't reveal any problems with his ear, chin, or any other part of the exterior of his head. TV images on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon showed him variously in a wheelchair and on a hospital gurney. He has since conjectured that he's being persecuted because he is a "waishengren" (外省人) (his own term), or so-called "mainlander." (See video of that twisted excuse in Part 2 of the links here [21:11 on-screen "也許衝著我是外省人的關係"]).

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Alex "Faker" Fai (費鴻「太過分」, screen right)
"stretch-er-ing" the truth on Wednesday
(Click image to enlarge)


KMT presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), then made a statement "denouncing" (譴責) the violence "on both sides," obfuscating the fact that if these members of his own party had stayed in the Legislative Yuan and not overstepped their authority, the day's events would not have occurred. Subsequent statements from Ma included half-hearted apologies which must be seen to be truly understood.

Who's to blame?
If these four legislators did this without Ma's or KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung's (吳伯雄) knowledge or permission, shouldn't they be kicked out of the party? (Pre-completion update: Fai has offered to quit the party, but he wasn't kicked out.) If Ma and/or Wu did know about it, shouldn't they step down from their respective positions? And are the KMT's "apologies" really apologies when caucus whip Lin Yi-shih says that "these four legislators didn't do anything wrong." Is he advocating Gestapo-like tactics? What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Furthermore, can the KMT's "apologies" really count as apologies when a front-page ad in Thursday's United Daily News (聯合報) has Wu making the excuse that they "went to the wrong place at the wrong time"? Would it have been okay at "another time"?

These were not mere "rogue supporters" -- they were legislators, including a caucus whip and a convener of the Legislative Yuan Finance Committee. What the fuck kind of Bizarro World do these people live in?!

Why Wednesday?
With a report by Next magazine (一週刊) just coming out alleging that KMT legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) has US citizenship (or did during her legislative terms) and another story about Ma Ying-jeou's father Ma Ho-ling (馬鶴凌) having had an affair several years ago, one might suspect that Wednesday's incident was a KMT dirty trick to distract attention from these other things.

If, as Ma-the-son says, there's nothing to the green card story, why does he continue trying to divert everyone's attention toward the Central Election Commission's (CEC) report that said he doesn't have US citizenship when that's a horse of a completely different color?

Is this going to hurt Ma and help Hsieh to win the election? Will this event (四個笨蛋) be blamed if Hsieh wins the March 22 election the way those pesky "two bullets" (兩顆子單) were blamed when Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) won in 2004? Only time will tell.

RELATED INFO:
* SocialForce.tw provides links to video of the event which I haven't seen any of the news channels broadcasting. The video begins with still pictures unaccompanied by sound, but then you can hear DPP officials describing just what they were doing as it happened.

* The DPP Youth blog (韋.革里拉軍團誌) posted video showing the facetious attitudes of the pan-blue legislators as they did their dirty deeds.

* "Dirty tricks"? I've got yer dirty tricks right here! Via Friday's China Post:
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Taiwanese opposition lawmaker said Friday he will consider suicide if party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou loses the presidential election on March 22.

Alex Fai of the opposition Nationalists said he felt extremely sad about the controversy surrounding an opposition invasion into the Taipei headquarters of Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh on Wednesday.

If the incident costs Ma his presidential victory, Fai said, "I will not exclude the possibility of ending my own life."

[...]

Before January's legislative poll, DPP lawmaker Wang Shih-cheng said he would jump into the sea if his party failed to win a single seat in the city of Taipei.

The Nationalists ended up with a clean sweep there, and Wang made good on his promise - though without any lasting ill effects.
If you even entertain the thought that Fai would do the same, you're a fool!

* Thursday's Taiwan News uses active verbs in the headline "KMT lawmakers cause chaos after storming Hsieh's office," telling readers just who did what as well as when and how they did it. (The link is to a cached version, because Taiwan News articles are inaccessible to non-subscribers after a week or so. I've saved the original page -- with images [try these links: 1, 2] -- as a PDF file for when the online version disappears.) Check out how Ma Ying-jeou deflects the blame:
Speaking in Chiayi yesterday, Ma expressed "regret" over the incident and censored the Hsieh camp for "violence."
(I think they mean "censured.")

* Thursday's China Post unsurprisingly makes it look like the incident happened spontaneously with the passive headline, First melee erupts as presidential race heats up. Note also that it's the "[f]irst" melee. Do they have inside information about plans for more such incidents? Foreigner in Formosa points out that the geographically-challenged newspaper hid the story. (I had found it via a Google search for info related to this incident.) While it was a front-page headline in the print edition (I saw it with my own eyes while I was at work), a link to the article was missing from the front page of the March 13, 2008 online edition (which I also verified with my own eyes). Try out their "select date" function at the bottom of their front page, and see for yourself.

* In this video from CTiTV, you can see that their videographer accompanied the four legislators in the elevator. The anchor says that their personnel "didn't see anyone kick or even touch the glass door" -- just 11 seconds after it appears that one of them does touch the door (1:50 in the video). Could it be that they're the only ones with a camera who saw it and that they're just not showing us the footage? Don't forget what the anchor just said, basically repeating what the reporter said around the 1:40 to 1:45 mark and what happened between the smoke and the mirrors. This report is presented as if the "evil DPP" set a "trap" for the "kind and gentle" KMT, as if the latter didn't decide on their own to show up at the headquarters of the former. And the more the reporter and anchor say that about the door "not being kicked," the more I suspect that it did happen.

* An article in Friday's China Post makes me wonder if Lo Ming-tsai is the door kicker:
Hsieh aides alleged that Fai and company kicked the door open to intrude. Fai said they all entered "peacefully."

"If I did," Fai said, "I'll quit as lawmaker and politics altogether."

His three colleagues vowed to follow suit after they offered an apology.

Lawmaker Lo Ming-tsai said he would resign as convener of the Legislative Yuan finance committee, should he have kicked open the door.

The other two legislators, Chen Chieh and Luo Shu-lei, also asked to be forgiven for their sally, which was intended to find out whether Hsieh paid for an extra office on the thirteenth floor of the bank's building without paying rent.

"Please produce evidence that we kicked in the door," all four said, "and we all would resign."
While Fai says he'll "quit ... politics altogether," Lo Ming-tsai -- the one who fled the scene before police arrived -- promises a much lesser sacrifice. Gee, I wonder why. (I also wonder if something is lost in translation here. Did they actually "kick [in/open]" any doors, or was it more like "barging in" or "intruding"?)

* Another article in Friday's China Post quotes DPP candidate Frank Hsieh saying:
"It wasn't violence," Hsieh went on. He likened the free-for-all to a tit-for-tat. "Can you say a girl slapping a man trying to rape her is committing an act of violence?" he asked.
What Hsieh means there is that he doesn't accept Ma's description of the violence being "on both sides." You tell him, Frank!

* The BBC goes FUBAR with this story, claiming that "MPs from both sides were arrested." That did not happen on this planet, but the usual suspect's name (Caroline Gluck) appears in the story:
According to the BBC correspondent in Taipei, Caroline Gluck, the run-up to elections in Taiwan are normally heated affairs, but violence-free.

So the clash at the DPP campaign offices - the first case of any disorder ahead of this month's presidential elections - was widely reported, our correspondent adds.
I guess Gluck "forgot" about the assassination attempt on Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) in March 2004, the gas bomber in December 2004, and so many other similar "violence-free" incidents. Michael Turton blogged this one in more detail while I was busy with this post.

RELATED BLOG POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES:
* October 28, 2007: Taiwan's opposition kidnaps political discourse, in which the hissy-fit throwers need somebody to call the waaaaambulance!

* October 27, 2007: The KMT in Taiwan vs. the GOP in the USA, in which the "phony sanctimony and faux outrage" of the party that brought us George W. Bush is compared with that of the KMT.

* June 21, 2006: Pan-blue crybabies find Taiwanese incomprehensible, in which their complete lack of desire to integrate into Taiwan's society is made perfectly apparent.

* November 9, 2005: Topsy-turvy Taiwan, in which the pan-blue media turn death threats against politicians into "non-political" "performance art."

* December 18, 2004: A LAUNDRY LIST OF PAN-BLUE VIOLENCE

* May 20, 2004: "United" only in their divisiveness, in which the losers of that year's election stand behind shields of irony while accusing Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of "hiding behind bulletproof glass." (Foiled yet again!)

* April 21, 2004: I've got your "ethnic divisiveness" right here!, in which I insert a hyphen into "anal-retentive analysis" and pick at minute details such as telling bald-faced lies.

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

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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Hsieh within 3 percentage points of Ma

Finally, a green survey

Today's Taipei Times reports some good news:
Another poll released by the Southern Taiwan Society yesterday showed that Ma had the support of 41 percent of respondents, while Hsieh was backed by 38 percent.
That's within the margin of error.

Somebody also posted the info to Wikipedia, with a strange qualification:
And South News is on the extreme end of Pan-Green.
WTF? Of course, no source is there to back up that claim.

More info at South News (南方快報). Gotta post this quick.

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

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Monday, March 10, 2008

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Taiwan: Frank Hsieh & Ma Ying-jeou's second presidential debate

Televised March 9, 2008

As happened coincidentally with the first debate on February 24, I was busy with family matters, so I can't comment on the content just yet. But YouTube user ricky200708 has posted all of the videos from yesterday's debate between Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and compiled them in playlist form:


20-part YouTube playlist: "2008/03/09 第二場總統大選電視辯論會"
(Translation: March 9, 2008 Second televised presidential debate


Notice the different elements from the usual YouTube player, including the arrows that will appear at the sides of the screen when you hover your cursor over the video, the thumbnails that will appear at the bottom, and the button to the right of Play/Pause which will show/hide the thumbnails. When the thumbnail view is enabled, you will also see smaller arrows to the left and/or right of the thumbnails, allowing you to see thumbnails and titles for the previous/next group of videos.

Discuss in comments.

UPDATE: Here is a report and some transcripts/translations (all English) from the debate via Monday's Taipei Times.
* Hsieh, Ma face off in last debate (report)
* Presidential election 2008: 12 days to go: Hsieh and Ma face the nation (transcript/translation) (Check out Ma's huge distortion within that transcript about the defense budget that his party blocked for 6 years.)
* Presidential election 2008: 12 days to go: Presidential hopefuls spar on critical issues (transcript/translation) (See Ma "one-China" Ying-jeou talk about a "Taiwan-centric" China policy!) [/update]

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

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