Sunday, August 15, 2010

Three More Judges Go Down

I had a lot of fun shooting the east coast from the train the other day coming back to Taipei from Hualien.

Cleaning up the judiciary? Three more judges go down for corruption.
Supreme Court Judge Hsiao Yang-kuei (蕭仰歸) was accused of pressuring High Court Chief Judge Kao Ming-che (高明哲) into clearing his son of hit-and-run charges. Another high court judge, Yang Ping-chen (楊炳禎), was suspected of “ethical misconduct” — including visiting prostitutes and alleged involvement in a collective bribery case.

The Judicial Yuan has referred the three judges to the Control Yuan for further investigation.

The disciplinary panel took action a day after the Supreme Court’s Special Investigation Panel raided 20 locations as part of an anti-graft campaign.

This is the second time that three senior judges have been implicated in corruption scandals. On July 13, three other judges were arrested on charges of taking bribes, leading to the resignation of Lai In-jaw (賴英照) as Judicial Yuan president to take responsibility for the scandal.
The prostitute scandal of Yang Ping-chen was widely quoted in the local newspapers. Apparently the good Judge Yang preferred younger women with large breasts, who had never had sex before. He must have driven his procurers mad trying to find women who could act the part. Judge Yang was also an internationally famous collector of incense burners, and even had a book about his collection put together:
National Museum of History: JINYU QINGLU: YANG BINGZHEN XIANSHENG CANG MING QING TONGLU (BEYOND INCENSE BURNER). Ming and Qing Incense Burners in the Collection of Mr. Yang Ping-Chen. Taibei, 1996. 296 pp. 260 plates in full colour. B/w illustrations and text drawings. Cloth, slipcase GBP 135.00
He had also given exhibitions of his collection.

Soliciting prostitutes is not illegal (being a pro is), but the Judge's employment contract called for him to refrain from such behavior. Local news reports said Judge Yang was extremely wealthy --the kind of wealth that stinks of ill-gotten gains -- and planning to retire early, applying this July. His phones had been tapped for three years.

Looks like they are serious about cleaning up the judiciary. What about the rest of public life?
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Tim Maddog said...

I didn't like Lin Cho-shui's (林濁水) piece on China being "mad for Taiwanese culture." Even channels like 三立 have to "river crab" their words and call China "大陸" (the mainland) or "內地" (the heartland) to get their programs shown over there.

How much value -- if any -- remains after doing that? Whose culture is being influenced to a greater degree?

Tim Maddog

mike said...

On Obama's speech - I quite agree with its' awesomeness but only if we stipulate to the archaic meaning of that term. The "ground zero mosque" is a private matter as far as I am concerned - Stephen Pomerantz is perfectly within his rights to sell his property to whomever he chooses; it is nobody else's business. Conservative opposition to this is a blatant attack on freedom. However, it is hypocritical for the left to laud their defence of the Cordoba project as an example of them being the true defenders of freedom and reason. They are not, and neither are you Turton.

Obama is quoted in the article as saying:

"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

It is just such a pity that their commitment to freedom itself - understood to encompass the far more important economic, social and legal range of the concept's implications - is also unshakable... because it has been knocked out of popular consciousness.

Michael Turton said...

I took down Obama's speech link since he backtracked today, the weasel.

Okami said...

Cleaning up the judiciary, I think needs to be re-looked at as the following. The judges probably were disloyal to the party or not as trustworthy as the KMT would like, therefore an investigation is started for their eventual dismissal. It's not like you need proof or actual guilt. The media will do the rest either way and the investigators involved will happily let them into anything that looks remotely dirty to show to the viewing audience. The judiciary positions will be filled with keen loyalists and any other judge will be cowed into submission or actively blackmailed. You see this in quite a few countries.

Obama is a weasel. It's just with things like Journolist and that evil Sarah Palin, nobody really covered him accurately in the MSM.

Michael Turton said...

[scratches head] Uh....ok.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Obama's comments, shouldn't we take context into account?

Hitchens,, The dispute over the "Ground Zero mosque" is an object lesson in how not to resist intolerance. -

"Take, for example, the widely publicized opinion of Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Supporting those relatives of the 9/11 victims who have opposed Cordoba House, he drew a crass analogy with the Final Solution and said that, like Holocaust survivors, "their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted." This cracked tune has been taken up by Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, who additionally claim to be ventriloquizing the emotions of millions of Americans who did not suffer bereavement. It has also infected the editorial pages of the normally tougher-minded Weekly Standard, which called on President Obama to denounce the Cordoba House on the grounds that a 3-to-1 majority of Americans allegedly find it "offensive.""

Obama may have tacked some weasel words onto an otherwise spirited defense of freedom of religion, but given the irrational appeals to emotion by the opposition to limit such freedoms, shouldn't we on the left still acknowledge and praise Obama for his comments, imperfect as they may be?

Related: Dowd,, No Love From the Lefties

Michael Fahey said...

Actually, the Council of Grand Justices said recently that it is unconstitutional to enforce prostitution laws against the service providers but not against their customers. The Ministry of the Interior is drafting amendments to the criminal code that may at least partially decriminalize sex for money.

Jade said...

"Mad for Taiwanese Culture"

I'm not sure if this is a good thing. Remember when Ma was promoting/encouraging the use of simplified Chinese. To me, he was trying to creating an illusion that Taiwan and China have everyting in common and paving the way for his unification agenda. I'm sure what's happening in China now is also encouraged or should we say "approved" by the Chinese government for the same reason. It would be very hard for Chinese government to brain wash their people that Taiwan is part of China if the Taiwanese Culture is so different from the Chinese Culture.

Dixteel said...

I agree with Tim and Jade. Lin's comment is a bit too confident and arrogant. IMO a lot of pop-cultural products from Taiwan are specifically design to appeal to Chinese audiences. To the point the same products will not appeal to Taiwanese, and some actors and actresses have to kiss Chinese asses very hard. This is quite evident in some of the movies and musics etc. Those that are really liked by Taiwanese are actually not popular in China, and those that have market in China are not popular in Taiwan.

Readin said...

Some of the opposition to the mosque is calling for government action, but much of the opposition is just wanting the backers of the mosque to show some sensitivity.

One thing conservatives seem to understand that too many liberals fail to understand is that not every solution has to come from government. It is quite possible to strongly oppose something without wanting the government to get involved.

Obama was correct to support the constitutional right to build the mosque. He was wrong to doubt the American people. Rather than saying "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable" he would have been better to day "This is America and our commitment to religious freedom is unshakable. Whatever opposition you encounter, do not doubt that your fellow Americans will support your right to build the mosque, even those who question the wisdom of building the mosque. And I, as the President of the United States, will also defend that right."