Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Objectively and Pragmatically Sliding into the Abyss

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This little wooden building was the most fascinating thing I saw in Lukang today. What was it for?

"Objective" is one of the most important words in political discourse in Taiwan society. When it is deployed, it is a signal that the speaker demands that you kowtow to power. It came out this week in the furor over the salami slicing strategy that China is working up to deploy against Taiwan, little by little slicing away at its sovereignty. In that case, China says it is happy to talk about the new airline routes in the Strait, but doesn't appear to want to alter them. Talking about the communications between Beijing and Taipei, Chinese spokesman Ma said...
Such communications will help Taiwan "objectively and pragmatically understand in full the situation surrounding China's opening of the new routes," Ma said, without hinting at any possibility that the routes could be shifted further West, as Taiwan hopes.
You know when someone deploys "pragmatically" he means "sell out to Chinese power." You're screwed, suck it up. Another tiny slice off the salami.
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Daily Links:
  • Speaking of slow death, Commonwealth has a good piece on how Samsung stole employees from TSMC and apparently stole its business secrets. Both Chinese and Korean firms pay top dollar for Taiwan engineers.
  • President Ma says 4th nuke plant maybe possibly can be mothballed -- now that its budget is spent and everyone has their kickbacks and payments -- but electricity must flow. Hey, out in Datan in Taoyuan is a natural gas plant that can replace two reactors, if run at full capacity, but it only runs at 1/3 capacity.
  • Taiwan fisherman nets jawbone of hitherto unknown hominid between 10K and 190K years old.
  • LA Times on the growing boardgaming trend in Taiwan, which I've just joined.
  • As a longtime observer noted, Ma just did what he'd promised not to do: reshuffle top DoD posts.
  • Solidarity.tw with translation of Apple Daily Piece on the effect of Ko on other mayors.
  • The MKT is the latest in the increasing number of political parties in Taiwan. Founded by KMTer who left, basically saying KMT would never reform. These parties will be little more than personal factions unless some kind of proportional representation system is implemented, in which case they may have a future. I wonder if at least some of this partymaking is in anticipation of far-reaching reforms to the legislature.
  • Look, I"m not linking to that ridiculous watch affair. I'm just not. Nor am linking anymore to the sex park stories. Nor to the new law forcing parents to limit screen time for kids play e-games. That law is vague and will never be enforced. 
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

That child screen time law will be enforced the way a lot of laws are enforced in Taiwan: when someone calls the police and accuses their neighbor, colleague, or family member (with whom they've had an argument about something entirely unrelated), the police will come and ticket the hapless parent.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, that's the perfect application for it.

Mike Fagan said...

"Look, I"m not linking to that ridiculous watch affair. I'm just not."

It's worth commenting on in as much as it affords a discussion of how the functions of his office ought to be prioritized by the public.

Surely the top priority is making sure people in Taipei don't get killed because of poorly maintained or badly designed public infrastructure. Illegal rooftops on private houses is a similar issue.

There are other functions too on which he may be judged too, but the only consequence of his "off the cuff" remarks is that other people choose to get their knickers in a twist over it. But "offense" should not be a criterion of competence because people can get offended over any stupid little thing.

Ko really should just stop this habit of apologizing to the media and the terminally offended on facebook. He should feel entirely at liberty to just tell them to fuck off instead.

paul said...

michael, you should write an article about the dearth of good quality architects and architecture professors and college programs in taiwan. and how people should value architecture and environmental design more. there's no reason why taiwan should still look mostly like a third world country where buildings are dirty concrete or bathroom tiled ramshackles strewn electrical cables and pigeon coops on the roof. you should write in english and chinese and post it in all the newspapers. i really dont understand how taiwanese dont see how ugly their country is or if they do why they dont care to beautify and modernize her.

Nathan Burns said...

Foirgen Policy just released an interview with Mayor Ko.

The biggest shocker to me, that colonization was positive for the Chinese.

Article is here
https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/29/taipeis-fiery-new-mayor-knows-whose-culture-is-best/