Monday, September 03, 2018

Monday Short Shorts Plus Links

Yesterday was first nice day in weeks. I hit the mountains. It was wonderful.

This week brought us a sloppy and potentially libelous headline from Taiwan News on Mayor Ko and Ethan Gutmann's book on organ harvesting in China: Book claims Taipei Mayor transplanted organs from Falun Gong prisoners. To wit:
Butterfly Orchid Cultural Creativity (蝴蝶蘭文創), the pro-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) publisher of the Chinese version of the Ethan Gutmann book "The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China's Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem" have taken out a full page ad in newspapers in Taiwan claiming that the organs Ko's team collected from China for patients in Taiwan all came from Falun Gong prisoners.
This claim that Ko used organs from Chinese prisoners is not a new claim, but a claim recycled from the 2014 election. He was attacked then and it didn't fly. The book does not say that, either, it actually says the exact opposite. My blogpost on it has the relevant excerpts, and let me repeat:
In addition, Ethan Gutmann testified before the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development in the Canadian Senate on October 21, 2014. He stated, “Ten years ago Dr. Ko went to a mainland hospital to negotiate reduced kidney and liver prices for his department’s elderly patients. After a friendly banquet, Dr. Ko was given the Chinese price, which was about half of what a foreigner pays.” Gutmann went on to praise Ko, saying that “Dr. Ko is now the leading candidate to be mayor of Taipei, largely due to the perception that he is a man of integrity. I’ll go further. Dr. Ko’s testimony has done more for this investigation than all the world’s health organizations put together.”
In other words, Ko rejected the organs. The revival of this ugly, shitty smear directed at Ko vividly shows how stupid DPPers in Taipei are -- they should be celebrating the fact that a fellow pan-Green is running the show and is popular enough to win again, paving the way for future DPP politicians to win there. I never expect the DPP to be very competent but the party's handling of Taipei has set new lows even for the DPP. Word needs to go down that DPPers need to stop attacking Ko. Support Yao if you must (why?) but leave Ko alone.

Taipei Times reports that Political donations to the KMT have plummeted, while the DPP is staying steady. That's a doubly good sign -- if the public were that upset with the DPP, donations might fall.

Kudos to Tsai Ing-wen. Via the simple act of refusing to kowtow to the fictional 1992 Consensus, she forced journalists to either explain that it's a fiction, explain it really means conceding Taiwan is part of Beijing's China, or stop writing about it. Most choose the last, but still, good job. The silence on the 1992 Consensus is vast -- not a single paper that made the false "two interpretations" claim has ever conceded that it misrepresented reality.

Amnesty complained that Taiwan executed someone. So did the EU, which thinks executions are bad but is silent on China's threats to maim and kill Taiwanese and annex their island (sell us weapons to resist? Perish the thought). Several people complained that this will impact Taiwan's soft power. I rather doubt that all those people snarfing gua bao in Berlin and London and NY even know that anyone was executed in Taiwan, and probably don't care either.

Finally, I just want to note: for all the thirty years I have been involved with this island every damn typhoon people go down to the oceanside and then die. This time 5 and rising, including an eight year old girl. Really tired of it.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In other words, Ko rejected the organs.

The excerpt you cite does not indicate whether Ko bought the Falungong organs or not. Has Ko ever public said that he had not actually bought the Falungong organs for his patients?