Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday, November 18, Taiwan Blog Round Up

It's Friday again -- wasn't it just Friday? -- and the Taiwan blogs runneth over with news, opinion, and commentary.


Comments on the idiotic TVBS scandal continued this week. Several bloggers lambasted Pasuya Yao over his recent comments on legal exegesis. Sun Bin takes the negative view:

The legal discussion is a tired topic. It is amazing that Pasuya would so blatantly disregard the legal advice he received (I suppose someone must have given him some advice). It is even more amazing many people in Taiwan, including the Taipei Times and Hsiech Chang-ting (his superior and a lawyer) preferred to cheat themselves by supporting Pasuya's mistake. Perhaps Chen Shui Bian is happy to watch Pasuya dragging Hsieh down, as there may be a power struggle within DPP.

I doubt there is a power struggle in the DPP -- as the saying goes, never attribute to maliciousness what can be explained by incompetence. In any case Chen has nothing to gain by nailing Hsieh; that would have to be Su, the DPP party chairman, and a potential presidential candidate. The personal attacks on Chen Shui-bian over this affair are just one more manifestation of the pan-Blues hatred of the President.

David at jujuflop, who has inserted a rhetorical knife behind Pasuya Yao's gills and gently removed his spine several times, scored Yao again with a post on the "literal" reading as well:

In other words, the GIO feels that laws should not be taken literally, but that it is qualified to interpret the intent of those laws (and act accordingly). Glad they've sorted that out for us...

In other news, it seems they're less than keen to prosecute Formosa TV (a pro-Green station) which also seems to be in violation of the broadcasting laws. Presumably they've only broken a "literal interpretation" of that law, so there's nothing to worry about.

It's long past time Yao was fired. And TVBS closed, and Formosa TV punished, and rule of law instituted.... hey -- I can dream, can't I?

One other thing should be pointed out. As East Asia Watch noted, China has blocked foreign newspaper distribution:

Today, foreign newspapers must be flown into the country and distributed only in areas where foreigners congregate. The plan would have allowed local publications to print foreign newspapers on a contract basis, while retaining the restrictions on distribution.

Taiwan permits ownership of newspapers by foreigners, even from countries whose governments are out to eliminate the island as a free and functioning democratic society. Those who hack on the Chen administration ought to take a moment to consider what life in the land the pan-Blues support is really like.

This TVBS/Formosa TV thing is just another example of the problems that have been ongoing over the media since the first stirrings of democracy. Witness this blast from the past:

The fight started when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Wen-chia accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of forking out NT$18 million to finance a political commentary talk show, The Hope of Taiwanese Hearts.

KMT spokesman Alex Tsai conceded that the KMT had helped fund the show, but he got back at Lo by saying that the DPP government financed certain TV programs through the selective placement of government advertisements during these shows. KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu joined the chorus by voicing suspicions that several other commentary programs might be financed by the DPP, judging by what she referred to as these shows' "questionable" political content.

Sadly, as the two sides went back and forth, what is supposed to be the central issue to the entire controversy -- the question of transparency and political accountability -- was entirely missed.

Same problem: the law is leverage, not a norm. And of course, the hycpocrisy is always thick enough to cut with a two-edged sword:

It was also interesting to observe the egregious double standards on the part of the pan-blue camp in this whole incident. Not long ago, members of this camp were loudly condemning the producer of the now infamous Special Report VCDs for supposedly hiding in the dark instead of stepping up to shoulder responsibility. Yet it sees nothing wrong in its own decision to secretly fund The Hope of Taiwanese Hearts talk show.

Over at Writer's Block Feli reminds us Mandarin speakers about how we got to be this way:

It used to really bother me when I'd think about how Mandarin Chinese came to be the official language in Taiwan... ok, so it still bothers me.

Growing up, I'd heard about how people were punished for and restricted from speaking Hoklo, Hakka and Aborigine languages. The Taiwanese were shamed into believing that these languages were inferior to Mandarin Chinese. After being defeated by the Chinese Communists, the Kuo Ming Tang fled from China to Taiwan in the late 1940's and instated Mandarin Chinese as the official language in Taiwan.

One of the comments on her piece says that Mandarin was never made the official language of Taiwan in any document. True?


Taiwananonymous, whose interesting writing focuses on literature and language, takes a crack at translating Harry Potter:

I recently came across a fascinating web site dedicated to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. A large part of the site details the translation of Harry Potter into these languages. Although I have not read Harry Potter, I was interested enough in one of the translation problems to try to work out a solution. The problem is the wordplay concerning the Mirror Of Erised. In the original text, the mirror is carved with the words "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi." At first glance, this appears to be a foreign language or a magical incantation, but by reading it from the right to the left and rearranging the spacing, it becomes "I show not your face but your heart's desire." The author could have made the inscription a simple reversal of the hidden message, "Erised straeh ruoy tub ecaf ruoy ton wohs I," but this code is, perhaps, too easy to crack, and it looks less like an actual foreign language.

In the Chinese translation found in Taiwan, the mirror's inscription reads "意若思,思特拉,厄魯,歐特,烏比,卡佛魯,歐特,昂,烏西." This is a phonetic transliteration, which in Hanyu Pinyin reads, "Yiruosi, yitela, elu, oute, wubi, kafolu, oute, ang, wuxi." The author of this page points out that the first three characters "意若思," from which the mirror takes its Chinese name (意若思鏡, the Yiruosi Mirror), also hint at the function of the mirror, because they can be interpreted as "wish seems like thought" or "desire is what you think." Although this is better than a complete lack of meaning, the hidden message of the English version is missing.

Wordplay just doesn't translate well...


Another topic of interest on the island was Lee Teng-hui's remark about James Soong that was found to be defamatory and worth a cool NT$10 million. Rank notes:

I've been asking colleagues about this Lee Teng-hui defamation verdict. Lee was ordered by the court of first instance to pay NT$10m to James Soong for saying he went to play mahjong during a post-election rally last year. The verdict apparently hinged on whether or not Lee made it clear he was referring to Soong. Two pan-green lawmakers got off the hook because they didn't make it clear. Am I the only person who doesn't understand how Lee's comment can be construed as anything other than satirical?


MeiZhongTai analyzes the new China Commission report:

Special Budget: The report states:

Regrettably, the KMT has blocked President Chen's legislative efforts to pass a special budget for defense purchases in a purely partisan move to gridlock his government [130]

I am sure that Michael Turton will be as pleased, as I am, that someone in the American government finally understands the true nature of the KMT's opposition to the special budget--obstructionist, plain and simple. The report explains just how important signals such as these can be to the likelihood of war:

Hell yes I'm pleased! Finally someone gets it right! It's not difficult, you just have to do your homework. Don't miss the rest of MZT's post as it is a cornucopia of information and analysis.


The Taipei Kid comments on Mayor Ma's new English campaign.

According to the Taipei Department of Information's Web site, "the Mayor of Taipei is Ma Ying-jeou. His top goal is to make our city a world-class international capital. The first step to that goal is improving our English, in the government and among the people. English Corner is here for that reason." And to help that goal, they've installed an English slang dictionary that teaches us terms such as "ladyboy". I always thought "ladyboy" was a term used by non-native English speakers who didn't know the words "drag" or "tranny". But the bigger question is, what is something like this doing on a city government Web site?

Just another manifestation of the definition of internationalization in Taiwan: internationalization = English. It does not, however, involve the importation, dissemination, and adaptation of outside ways of thought.


Cold Goat Eyes, always a font of superior prose, metablogs on blogging and writing:

I left the UK for a number of reasons; it is too cold, it has too many rules, I don't particularly like the British, hate the food, despise the politic, and, in short, it depresses the hell out of me. But also because I wanted to complete my apprenticeship as a writer. Inspired by the likes of Burroughs in Tangier, Hemingway in Paris and Havana, Bashevis-Singer (pictured) in New York, Miller in Greece and Brennan in Spain, I thought, and still do, that the greatest of story-tellers have lived at least some of their lives as foreigners. To be even a home-based writer, though, is to take the stance of the outsider. The journalistic position is one of alienation and isolation and the act of writing itself is very much a lonely, isolative process. These writers are often solitary creatures who, by nature of their work, spend hours of a day locked and cooped-up in front of a typewriter or computer monitor without so much as a sandwich or a morsel of human interaction. But to write from a world in which you are, by definition, an outsider always seemed to me to be a purer, more profound, version of the same sentiment.

I dunno, CGE. You don't sound nearly drunk and debauched enough to me to make a good writer. And let's face it: you're in the wrong city. Paris may be inspiration, but Taipei is just perspiration.


POTS, always a repository of high quality stuff, hosts an article on stray animals and those who care for them. also works to bring social and legal pressure on animal abusers. As we were conducting our interview, McCormack received a call from a co-worker who had tracked the owner of a "puppy mill" back to a fetid, cramped breeding facility. But when they had tried to send the authorities to investigate the operation, they discovered the breeder had moved the animals to a new location, which the rescuers were hoping to find that night.

I found this interesting:

McCormack sees a number of reasons to be optimistic about the prospect for improving the stray problem. One is Taiwanese general reluctance to euthanize unwanted animals, which presents a difference to the US and other areas. Reasons could include local Buddhist beliefs, which proscribe the killing of animals, and a general willingness to give animals a second chance. It also means that "Taiwanese are more than twice as likely to adopt a stray than Americans. That means that we're in a position to get these strays into homes and get them cared for," he said.

Another strong point already in place in Taiwanese society is a history of what McCormack calls "community animals," or animals that live in the street yet are fed and looked after by neighborhood residents. He envisions a plan to "find these people who are caring for the dogs, give them a title, give them support and a network. We can make them feel part of a very big organization. What they will do is let us know when a dog is sick, when there's a new dog in the area, when there are puppies, and we go in there and we take care of the problem. It'll work."

Like all societies, Taiwan displays some amazing contradictions, and the mixture of care and contempt for animals is among the most boggling, to my mind. Sometimes they are embodied in the same family -- like our neighbors who picked up strays and cared for them, yet beat them. And their children too.....

Don't miss the "What you can do" at the bottom of the article.


Jason at Wandering to Tamshui beat me to the punch with a fantastic and deeply troubled essay about the silly editorial in the Taipei Times recently:

Local elections have always --always!-- been about one thing and one thing only, and that is ensuring the most effective distribution of political largesse from the government down to the counties and townships. At this electoral level, no one really cares about the China missile issue or who's selling out Taiwan, and the sooner the DPP and TSU figure this out, the sooner they'll begin to make serious gains in these sorts of elections.

Does the DPP get it? Not if the Taipei Times represents its thinking! It's obvious to many of us watching the DPP get creamed in local elections, and being set up for another creaming again in the upcoming local elections. Earth to DPP: GET LOCAL!


Big Ell blogs on the Republic of Corruption and KMT legislator Hong Hsiu-chu's demand that the police find someone who defaced her poster.

I can't believe that Hong actually believes that being called a bitch/whore is the same offence as threatening to kill someone. I am not sure about Taiwan law but I doubt you do serious jail time for calling someone a bitch/whore. I would argue that being called a bitch/whore is worse than being called a ruffian but not as bad as having the nickname 'Little Chili.'

Hong was a member of the faction that went on to form the New Party more than a decade ago, returning to the KMT fold since. She ran in the primary for Taipei County Commissioner candidate several years ago. She was also one of the attack dogs who was unleashed on Richard Gere a while a back.


Jerome Keating who always turns out quality stuff, writes:

Democracy is the real issue in the Taiwan/China debate and the questions on democracy are the real questions. The rest is all smokescreen and, pardon the word, obfuscation.


One cannot say the pan-blue have totally avoided mentioning democracy. To his credit, James Soong hinted at it by once saying that perhaps it might be best to put off any discussion of unification for another thirty to fifty years and just expand trade links etc. Ma Ying-jeou in his usual pussy-footing way of trying to keep his feet in two boats also hinted at the issue. In an interview he stated that he suspected that the PRC is still a ways from democracy. Nowhere however, and I say nowhere, has there been anything close to making democracy a non-negotiable part of or a sine qua non for discussions.

Why not KMT demand that China democratize? I'm sure the reader can think of the reasons....


George Bush commanded China to be more like Taiwan, to huzzahs and hogwashes from around the blogosphere. The Gentle Rant dispenses some world-class snark:

Be more like Taiwan, Bush urges Beijing This is an article that should raise a few eyebrows. I don't know if George is the one we want championing this fledgling democracy. His experiments in democracy in his own country have fallen well short of the mark and his adventures abroad in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Haiti are at best suspect.

By, "well short of the mark," I mean like aiming at the target and shooting yourself in the foot. By, "suspect," I mean like a pedophile on the playground.

Brian Mathes also blogged on Bush's words:

This lays out an interesting twist on the One China Policy, which I think is insightful. America agrees that Taiwan is Chinese, which is a wise position in the pursuit of stability in the region and in placating China on the issue. But the USA can use that to further pressure on China and eliminate the common claim of "Democracy with Chinese Characteristics," which is often used to justfiy repression and moves to suppress dissidents. Since Taiwan is Chinese, and Taiwan is fairly free and democratic, there is no reason that China cannot be that way too eventually.

This may be right, but anyone like Bush who supports the dangerously and un-American Patriot Act is not in a position to lecture the Chinese on democracy. Snowman in the Tropics filed a few complaints:

I don't understand why Taiwan thinks that Bush is their friend. Bush is the type of friend who comes over to your house, eats all your food, calls all of his long distance friends and does his laundry without paying for anything. Sure he says that you should join the country club and come to all the parties, but won't help you with the application and won't talk with you in public.


The movie awards and the accompanying international spat was also caught by a couple of bloggers. the leaky pen logged a post on China's attempt to overshadow Taiwan's awards:

China will stop at nothing to silence Taiwan--and even when it comes to Chinese language cinema, the name of the game is geopolitical strife. This year China inaugurated an attempt to oust Taiwan from the spotlight of international cinema awards by permitting movies, stars, and directors from the "Chinese diaspora" (HK, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan) to participate in the Golden Rooster Awards (a.k.a. the "Shiney Yellow Cock Awards" in some circles). In an attempt to upstage Taiwan, the Roosters even opened one day ahead of Taiwan's venerable Golden Horse Awards.

Me from T@iwan also blogged on the Awards:

Hsiao Shu Shen's risque outfit at last Saturday's Golden Bell Awards has stirred a huge controversy among the local showbiz. Some have questioned the genuineness of her breasts. Whether they are fake or not, it's fine by me. Even if her outfit at Golden Horse was more proper, the critics still found their reasons to look her down. I've seen some of her performance on TV, such as Love's Lone Flower (View the pictures of her acting), and think she did a good job. What's more important, she is a TAIWANESE actress. She was one of the few Taiwanese actress present at Golden Horse Awards, while the rest of they were almost from Hong Kong.

Damn straight! Wandering to Tamshui clinically observed Taiwan's Golden Globes:

No, but close! They're pictures from last night's Golden Bell Awards! A small sample of the weirdness that has an unfortunately large influence over Taiwanese fashion:

Hsiao Shu-shen lost in her nominated categories, but won the Golden Bozos award for the most effective way to catch my attention.

WtT complained that Lin Chih-ling is bony and talentless.......

Ok, So Lin Chih-ling is bony. But she has an MA in Econ. She can trickle down to me any time she wants.


Maddog put together a dissertation on the latest fallout from the TVBS scandal. In Taiwan, political observers have to order their irony meter by the truckload:

Recent pan-green media reports said that the Lees had been seen in a Macau casino "accompanied by a man with a Beijing accent" and that the father and son Lees had "spent a good deal of time in a 'chicken farm,' or whorehouse, on the first floor of the casino." Their immediate response to this was to threaten the reporters with lawsuits, but after reporters proved that they weren't doing "Chen Shui-bian's dirty work" or accusing them of laundering money, the Lees admitted that they had, in fact, gone to the casino, but were simply there looking for proof of Chen Shui-bian's alleged indiscretions, ones he was accused of by Lin Ruey-tu and which had already been shown to be groundless charges.

And of course, Li Ao is always a kick. During the conspiracy hu-ha that the KMT whipped up over the Blue supporter who shot President Chen Shui-bian, Li Ao claimed to have a brief from the CIA saying Chen had himself shot. Apparently terrified that someone else might become the center of attention, Li Ao once again in this scandal moved quickly to grab the limelight, saying he'd been threatened:

One or two days later, Li reports -- all the while sporting a shit-eating grin -- that he has received a bullet in the mail and that he expects the police to capture the perpetrator just as quickly as they did when Premier Frank Hsieh and GIO Minister Pasuya Yao received threats via telephone.

You know what, Li Ao? So do I!

I, too, hope they find the perpetrator, because with your history of insane statements and accusations and without any real evidence that someone else (a pan-green supporter?!) did it, I can only conclude that you directed someone to mail it to you just so you'd have something to talk about on the news. (Sorry, I can't fand any links to print media on the "bullet" story yet, but I will update if I do.)

I'll bet that the CIA report on the Chen assassination and this bullet have exactly the same origin....


David on Formosa blogs on the new native language policy. One of the more understandable but objectionable policies of the DPP has been to introduce instruction in local languages in the schools.

How could something so simple become so difficult? Well, for a start it would help if they could work out how to write these languages down. The competition between various romanisation systems, zhuyin fuhao (ak bo po mo fo) and Chinese characters probably doesn't help. I guess there are also cultural issues to be dealt with. Languages that were banned in the classroom for almost 50 years may still be perceived by some as uncultured and not having academic value.

I believe that this policy will result in further localization when Taiwan's salvation lies in greater globalization and internationalization, and will further Balkanize an already ethnically-divided state. It is mere political pandering. David points out that the government spends twice on the native language programs what it spends on English, a statistic I have some difficulty believing. There's a problem here.....


One recent emergent phenomenon of the Taiwan blogosphere is the appearance of blogs that actually blog on English teaching (what a revolutionary idea: not discuss politics? Amazing! How do they resist?). Doubting to Shuo? proffers two good posts on intensive and extensive reading.

Nearly anyone who has taken a foreign language class in North America is familiar with intensive reading. Maybe you have to read a paragraph, or maybe you have to make your way through Le Petit Prince, like I once did. In either case, you'd be reading something with a great deal of vocabulary and/or grammar that is beyond your current reading ability. If your instructor is kind, maybe the vocabulary and grammar that is new to you will be glossed page by page. If not, you'll be spending more time looking up a dictionary than reading. Assuming vocabulary is supplied for you, the most efficient way to do this kind of reading is to first drill yourself on the new vocabulary for an hour or so, and then read. Diligent students will be able to use the reading to learn 10 or maybe even 20 vocabulary words within a couple of hours. However, even they will probably be reading word by word rather than taking in the language a phrase at a time as they would reading in their native languages.

Scott Sommers had his usual stream of good posts. First, he created a list of his essays on foreign teachers in Taiwan. This was preceded by a fact-filled post on the actual number of Big Noses teaching Ainglish out here in East Asia.

This number seems strange because later the same article states there are 1200 foreign teachers at Berlitz, and the JET website states that that program alone employs 6,000 foreign teachers. It is difficult for me to believe that JET and Berlitz employ almost half of all the foreign teachers in Japan.

The numbers I obtained from the Taiwan MOE website back in 2002 stated that there were 3013 legal foreign teachers in Taiwan on April 14. The website has changed since then, and equivalent numbers are no longer available. In addition, back in 1992, the China Post quoted National Police Agency figures that there were 10,000 Americans in Taiwan with expired visas, most whom were probably teaching English.

There seem to be an awful lot of numbers out there, and all of them are too low.


The Foreigner in Formosa blogs on Chinese invasion strategies:

I once read a terrific column where the writer suggested that the differences between Western and Asian military strategy could be attributed to the different kind of strategic games that are popular in each region. Westerners play chess, he said, while Asians play Go.

Chess is direct. Attack the king, and kill him. To win, control the center of the board.

Go is a more indirect game. Surround your enemy, and immobilize him. To win, control the board's periphery.

This kind of stuff is really simplistic. For one thing, the Chinese DO play chess (they have their own version), and Americans play complex boardgames like Third Reich, as well as complex card games like Bridge. Hence, deducing invasion preferences from boardgame preferences is like arguing that the Chinese will prefer an elegant strategy with the enemy at arm's length because they eat with chopsticks....


Why do machines in Taiwan malfunction? Taipei Family Adventures catalogues their list of failed widgets:

I am beginning to think that rejects get sent to be sold in Taiwan at an inflated price and then break so that you have to replace it. First, our toaster oven went out. This is owned by the landlord and of course, trying to get the landlord to replace it is near impossible and trying to get it fixed takes forever since we have to go through our rental agent, who goes through the landlords rental agent who has to talk to the landlord about what to do, who then tells our rental agent who then forgets that we needed something done and never gets back to us. It's really frustrating. So, I just bought a new oven which we'll take with us when we move.

The explanation I've heard is that the electricity supply is unstable -- voltage varies by as much as 5 volts at times of peak demand. The fluctuations are death on machines.......


This Life, which always has good photos, nailed two kids with the "Omigoditsaforeigner" look. Priceless:


SHORTS: Wild at Heart announces the Taiwan premiere of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. Ni Howdy gets free booze and leers at coolly observes a beautiful stripper exotic dancer. Don't miss this thread at Formosa on teachers booted from Taiwan for substituting for a fellow teacher at another school (thanks to David on Formosa). Mutant Frog links to the famous economic systems explained by cows. Happy Birthday to Former Native Speaker's wife, Former Native Speaker of Chinese. May she be 23 forever! Also congratulations to Tim and Tam on their new baby. ApplePea Travel Blog writes on Bitan Lake. Everyone is a Foreigner has a great experience with a helpful couple. James Lick notes that Taiwan is #3 in Beaujolais wine imports in the world. Made in Taiwan has a real English breakfast in China -- with pics. Don't miss the podcasting at Getting a Leg Up, The Bluesman's Killing Floor, Misadventures in Taiwan, and Ugly Expat. As always, great photos at 35togo, Unplugged, the forgetful's photo gallery, the forgetful's photo gallery, amateur commune, andres, Clarke vs Matt, Cat Piano, T_C at Fotolog, battphotos, Fotologging Taiwan, Photoactionboy, leftmind, MaMaHuHu, Everything Visible is Empty, Roger in Taiwan, Love Songs (Are for Losers), Photoblogging Taiwan, a better tomorrow, Eight Diagrams, Tagging Taichung, and This Life.


New Blogs on the Roll:

  • access kaohsiung community services
  • Tina's Blog
  • Kaohsiung Bear
  • Kaohsiung Bear in Limbo
  • Marj in Taiwan
  • Diary Exchange by Wenshen and Xiao Xia
  • The Foreigner in Formosa
  • Now baking
  • muddy basin ramblers
  • Gilad's Trip Blog
  • Polo's Space
  • The Renegade Province Production Journal

  • +++++++++++++++
    Quote of the Week: From the Gentle Rant: "Having Ol' George saying you've got a model democracy is more or less the kiss of death. Like Milli Vanilli telling you that you've got a great singing career in front of you."


    225712012 said...

    Hey I'm drunk and debaunched, honest. Just last week I had a glass of beer in one of those expat bars and yesterday I said 'fuck'. In public.
    To a girl!!

    Sun Bin said...

    I did not mean to say CSB was malicious. I was just puzzled why he did not stepped in, and tried to speculate for an explanantion.
    The alternative explanation is he was happy to see them giving tvbs a 'lesson' by sacrificing a pawn (yao). however, i soon rejected that because it is really a stupid move.
    1) no reall harm done to tvbs
    2) more to lose for DPP side.

    He did come out to make it very clear no media will be shut down, presumably knowing there is really no legal basis to do so and correctly interpreted the law. (but then why hsieh failed to understand this, hsieh was supposedly a good lawyer as well)

    Sun Bin said...

    some quick notes :)

    1) I think mandarin was made the official language of ROC, soon after Qing was overthrown

    2) the toaster is just one of bad quality. unstable voltage only affects electronic controls, not toaster springs, which uses heat sensor. i.e. toast springs up when certain temperature is reached (the lever expands on heat).

    Michael Turton said...

    Thanks, Sun, for all the explanation. I'll bet, though, that the toaster's heat sensor isn't so simple as a bimetallic strip, but is probably some fancy electronic doohickey....

    The comment about "maliciousness" is just a doesn't mean that I think CSB be was being "malicious" but only that you often have to choose between clever planning and bad luck when thinking about the behavior of others.

    wayne said...

    In any case Chen has nothing to gain by nailing Hsieh

    Chen has plenty to gain. The only thing CSB cares about is CSB. He wants to preserve his half-assed legacy (LTH worked undercover, surrounded on all sides by old-school mainlanders who could have ousted him at any second, and he ended up completely transforming Taiwan's political structure. CSB faced the "obstacles" of the incomparably incompetent Lien/Soong and the only he could come up with was LY reform? Yawn.) He knows that he's surrounded by a bunch of incompetent lackeys whose clumsiness at graft and money laundering has turned the DPP into a knockoff version of the KMT. So CSB has set up Hsieh to be the fall guy, the guy the pan blues can sic their dogs on on the LY floor, so that all the while he can stand above the fray and make principled but empty declarations like "No TV station will be shut down during my presidency." And then sit by the phone, twiddling his thumbs, waiting for Hu Jintao to return his phone calls.

    You don't need to mention my blog in your round-up. I deleted it several weeks ago.

    Michael Turton said...

    What's your blog's name? I'll take it off the roll.


    Anonymous said...

    I don't understand why Taiwan thinks that Bush is their friend.

    Well, that's international relationship at best, for now. With a decreasing list of friends, get invited to the clubs is the only way to meet new friends.
    Besides, compares to the bully living next door, or this guy who comes to your house, robs you of everything, and tries to sell your house to your neighbor with your family still living inside of it,
    Bush is a good friend.

    wayne said...

    a better tomorrow

    Sean McCormack said...

    Great blog! Really like it.

    Thanks very much for the mention. We'll be at Grandma Nitti's in Shida this Sunday lunchtime, doing a mini-fundraising and adoption event.

    If you're in the area, join us for a bite to eat, a drink, and a chat!

    Thanks again. I'll be back!