President Tsai's office was forced to distance itself from the decisions of its judicial reform committee this week when it turned out the "reform" actually made things less democratic. The President's office dodged by saying that the Committee had made its decisions without informing the president...
During a meeting of the committee on Monday a consensus was reached that the top level of the judiciary should be reduced by cutting the combined number of Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judges from 94 to 21, and granting the president the power to make final selection of the judges without going through legislative approval.The excuse was that this was how it is done in other countries. For once I found myself in agreement with former President Ma Ying-jeou, who warned that simply copying other countries is not necessarily a good idea.
The irony was that the President had selected the committee in the first place. The KMT and its affiliates had complained about the President's personal intervention in the process as judicial interference. You have to admit, if there is something the KMT knows a lot about, it's judicial interference.
A member of the committee quit the other day, claiming that the process is flawed and a sham... this is a comment I have heard from people I know who have worked on the project...
- Great discussion of Chinese nationalism's homophobia problem. Both the KMT and the CCP have the same approach, which they inherited from the Manchu Empire.
- Amazingly, there's a link between a naptha cracker and local health. Who would have thought that? It's amazing that it was researched and publicly made known. The EPA found nothing out of the ordinary, of course, when it investigated the situation.
- Bloomberg: F-35s for Taiwan
- A Dutch depiction of a Mazu temple on Penghu from 1670
- NAS report recommends that all Confucius Institutes be closed
- Ketagalan Media on Taiwanese-American actor Daniel Tang trying to make it in Taiwan
- Epic Photoshop fail from PRC military. Bonus: the awesome Kitsch Liao observed the shadow under the Russian jet taking off from the carrier is actually a 747.
- China's Taiwan Affairs Office says detained activist is in good health but won't release any other information.
- Cheng Hsin (Maxxis) is opening a new plant in India
- Taiwan press freedom first in Asia. If only press quality kept up with press freedom...
- BBC on miracle rice, shows its hostility to Taiwan is alive and well. As well known Taiwan travel writer commented:
Taiwan isn't a member of the FAO, but the organization repeatedly mentions the contribution of Taiwanese scientists and rice accessions to the creation of IR8, the type of rice which kicked off the Green Revolution in India and other places. For some reason, this BBC article makes no mention of Taiwan, and talks instead about the crucial dwarfing variety having originally come from China. That's true, but it's like awarding the Michelin star to the farmer who grew the food, not the chef who cooked the ingredients.
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