DPP politico Hsiao Bi-khim just broke the news on Facebook that three protesters protesting a rail line in Taoyuan were given a total of 21 years for their heinous use of freedom of expression. More on that tomorrow, I hope.
Harvard Prof blasts Taiwan academics. It's much worse than that; the system actively discriminates against interdisciplinary research, rewarding profs only for publications in what is designated as their field. It also downplays the importance of books and forces profs to attempt to publish in top journals. I could go on all day about how counterproductive the Taiwan system is.....but since its purpose is to accrue status to the university, not knowledge.....
Asia Times has a piece on the recent Open Letter to Ma Ying-jeou on the charges against Lee Teng-hui. The government's response this time has been quite different. As the article notes, last time they went on the offensive, saying some surpassingly stupid things in response. They also contacted many of the signatories privately. This time neither of those things is occurring. I think the government has hit upon the right move: ignore them and they'll go away. Only this time there were a lot more signatories than last time.
Taipei Times runs article headlined Jason Hu's disapproval rating tops 40%. If you read the text, his approval rating is over 50%. This smacks of spin. We're the good guys, TT, no need to indulge in that. Correctly note that Hu has majority approval.
Finally, this great commentary in the Taipei Times today highlights an important bit of history....
The reception given to the project at the originally planned location in the Lize (利澤) area of Yilan County’s Wujie Township (五結) was very different from what happened later in Mailiao. In December 1987, then-FPG chairman Wang Yung-ching (王永慶) took part in a televised debate with then-Yilan County commissioner Chen Ding-nan (陳定南).....imagine what Yilan would be like if that hopeless naptha cracker had been built there. Formosa Plastics appears to have reneged on its promises to Yunlin, if the county gov'ts claims are correct.
Wang said that if Chen gave the go-ahead for the plant to be built in Yilan, it would be a highly ethical decision that would bring great benefits to the county. Chen, however, responded by saying that if he allowed the complex to be built in Yilan he would be blamed for generations to come for what he called a “criminal error.”
In view of the seven fires in one year at the plant in Yunlin, and the protests that have followed, one can well imagine how thankful Yilan residents must feel today about Chen’s decision not to let FPG build the plant in their county.
In the two decades since it was built, the sixth naptha cracker plant has not brought the promised prosperity to the area. Instead, it has brought the threat of cancer and other illnesses, as well as the menace of fires that can and have broken out at any time. However, over on the other side of the Jhuoshui River (濁水溪), in Changhua County’s Dacheng Township (大城), the government was until the beginning of this year still offering the same old lures of “jobs and prosperity” to try and persuade local residents to support the construction of an eighth naphtha cracker plant.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.