Monday, June 26, 2006

I am the Commander in Chief!

I am the Commander in Chief!

Bevin Chu
June 25, 2006

我是三軍統帥! I am the Commander in Chief!
-- 沉尿扁 Chen Shui-bian

Some readers may be wondering what this posting is all about.

It's quite simple, actually.

Chen Shui-bian, feeling the heat from the Pan Blue initiated recall process, has been sweating bullets.

Why is Chen so afraid of being recalled?

Chen is afraid of being recalled because during the four years he legally occupied the office of the president, followed by the two years he illegally occupied the office of the president, he
committed so many crimes he can't afford to allow himself to be recalled.

The moment Chen is recalled is the moment Chen loses control of the judiciary. The moment Chen loses control of the judiciary is the moment Chen and his wife will suffer the same fate as former Philippines kleptocrats Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, and former South Korean kleptocrats Chun Doo-hwan and Roe Tae-woo.

Therefore in order to prove that he still had his hand on the controls of the central government, Chen ordered an impromptu troop review on the island of Kinmen (Jingmen),
just off the coast of Fujian.

The troop review, which Chen called for out of the blue, for no apparent rhyme or reason, was not about anything so mundane as actually reviewing the troops for their military preparedness.

The "troop review" was Chen's laughable attempt to assert that "I'm still in charge goddammit!" The troop review was a trembling Chen, puckering his lips, dry from anxiety, whistling in the dark.

Actually, the photo above was not taken on Kinmen. It was taken earlier, elsewhere. But doesn't it look perfect for the caption? And what's a little artistic license now and then?

For the record, here is the actual scene, at a luncheon with officers serving on the frontline island of Kinmen:

Caption: Inspecting Kinmen, the president declares: I am the Commander in Chief!

The Taipei Times, apparently unconcerned about the potential for ironic commentary from what the Pan Green camp likes to call the "tong pai mei ti" (pro unification media), reported on Chen's latest bout of petulance.

In a June 23, 2006 article entitled "I'm commander-in-chief, Chen says," the Taipei Times wrote:

Against the backdrop of the recall motion initiated by the opposition, President Chen Shui-bian emphasized yesterday that he is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces ...

"Everybody knows that the president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces because it is clearly stipulated in Article 36 of the Constitution," he said. "But exactly what does that mean?"

Quoting words attributed to former US president John F. Kennedy in the Hollywood movie Thirteen Days, Chen said that all military chains of command end with the president.

"That is the meaning of the leader of the armed forces," Chen said.

"To be the commander-in-chief of the armed forces is my constitutional duty and the sacred mission vested in me by the people. For that reason, I am willing to be on duty 365 days of the year without any holidays."

Wow. I hope you're duly impressed by Chen's importance. He certainly is.

"President" Chen Shui-bian waves as he sets out from Shuitou Harbor on Kinmen to inspect troops on Tatan Island and Little Kinmen during an inspection tour yesterday

IN CHARGE: The embattled president paid a visit to the armed forces on Kinmen and Tatan and reminded the public that all military chains of command ended with him

Chen said: "There are some people who refuse to recognize me as the president of Taiwan. They refuse to address me as the president, but refer to me with my full name as if they were calling their child," he said.

Now why in the world would they do that?

An All Too Common Mistake

An All Too Common Mistake
Bevin Chu
June 25, 2006

The following is a letter to the editor of one of numerous US newspapers that published a recent AP article on North Korea's missile test.

The letter has been revised for style as well as expanded in content.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your June 25, 2006 article, "Missile threat could test United States," by William Foreman of the Associated Press, committed an all too common mistake.

It asserted that:

"Taiwan split from China amid civil war in 1949."

This common but mistaken formulation is both intellectually sloppy and dangerously misleading. It implies that something, called "Taiwan," separated itself from something else, called "China."

It implies secession. It implies successful secession. It implies a fait accompli.

In fact, it would be far more accurate to say that "In 1949, China split in two amidst a still unresolved civil war."

In fact, China's current situation is nearly identical to that of East and West Germany prior to German reunification.

What most people referred to as "East Germany" was in fact the German Democratic Republic. What most people referred to as "West Germany" was in fact the Federal Republic of Germany.

Similarly, what many people sloppily refer to as "Taiwan" is in fact the Republic of China. What many people sloppily refer to as "China" is in fact the People's Republic of China.

One Germany, like One China, temporarily divided by the Cold War

Although no one does so, it would be far less misleading to refer to "Taiwan" as "East China," and mainland China as "West China."

In any event, the trend is clear. The US government is no longer willing, and more importantly, no longer able, to bear the cost required to maliciously keep China separated into warring halves.

China, like Germany, will eventually be reunified, sooner if not later.

Ironically, China will be reunified sooner, almost immediately, if Taiwan independence Quislings are so obtuse as to insist on declaring formal independence.

China will be be reunified later, perhaps decades later, if Pan Blue political figures succeed in regaining control of the ROC executive branch in 2008.


Bevin Chu

See: East and West Germany, East and West China

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Are They Stupid and Ignorant, or merely Dishonest?

Are They Stupid and Ignorant, or merely Dishonest?
Bevin Chu
June 16, 2006

In case you thought the rampant hysteria in last Friday's Taipei Times editorial, "Taiwan, Banana Republic of China?" was an exception, think again.

"Ma's brazen attack on Taiwan's democracy," by frequent Taipei Times contributor Cao Chang-qing, brims over with the same hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm.

Telling a simple truth requires only understatement, solemnity, and civility. That's because the truth pretty much speaks for itself.

Telling a lie, on the other hand, requires hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm. That's because a lie needs all the help it can get.

When a writer resorts to hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm, it means he knows he is telling a lie, but hopes to make the lie more convincing by enbellishing it as much help as possible. It means he hopes that at least some listeners will believe the lie merely because he has turned the volume control knob all the way up to high.

Read Cao's editorial yourself, and ask yourself which political camp is telling a simple truth, and which political camp is telling a convoluted lie.

Is it the Pan Blues, who are saying simply that a corrupt political leader ought to be replaced?

Or is it the Pan Greens, who are attempting to spin the replacement of an incorrigibly corrupt official -- a no brainer if there ever was one -- as a choice between "native Taiwanese" and "mainlander pigs," between "Taiwanese" and "Chinese," between "democratic Taiwan" and "Communist China."

"Recall Chen" rally in Changhua

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou at "Recall Chen" rally in Changhua

Published on TaipeiTimes

Ma's brazen attack on Taiwan's democracy
By Cao Chang-qing
Friday, Jun 16, 2006

Anyone without a deeper understanding of the political situation in Taiwan would be excused for thinking that President Chen Shui-bian must have violated a slew of laws to cause the pan-blue camp to call for his blood and launch a formal motion for his recall. Even Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou said, mouth dripping with venom, that unless Chen steps down, the people will rise up and topple him, giving him a nasty death. "Topple" and "die a nasty death" are phrases implying violence and coups d'etat that make us think of China's Cultural Revolution, a time when the air was filled with shouts of "topple" and people were driven to "nasty deaths" on a daily basis.

Comment: After regaling us with the above purple prose lead in, Cao Chang-qing then makes two assertions, both unadulterated nonsense, legally, logically, and historically.

First, Cao asserts that because the Pan Blue camp's recall motion does not require proof that Chen is guilty of criminal wrongdoing, that constitutes proof that Chen is innocent of criminal wrongdoing.

Cao: When Ma gave his reasons for supporting the recall motion, he inadvertently told us the truth. He said that the motion to recall Chen was a "political action" and that "a violation of the law is not necessary" to support such a move. In the midst of the barrage of pan-blue accusations against Chen, this was tantamount to telling the world that Chen had not violated the law and that he was not involved in the corruption scandals; that these accusations, in effect, were political fabrications without any foundation in fact. That is the only reason why Ma, a former minister of justice with a law degree, said that "a violation of the law is not necessary," since that washes Chen clean of all criminal suspicions.

Comment: Chen Shui-bian, his immediate family, his in laws, his cronies, and his fellow ruling DPP officials, have engaged in every form of corruption known to man, including patronage, bribery, extortion, influence peddling, fraud, embezzlement, and nepotism.

Taiwan independence apologists have demanded that those outraged by prima facie evidence of ruling DPP corruption must first prove corruption by means of the criminal justice system, and if they can't, they must shut up.

But as anyone familiar with the grim reality of Taiwan's "democracy" knows, ruling DPP malfeasance includes the hijacking of the criminal justice system, or at least its upper echelons. Put simply, the ruling DPP owns the criminal justice system.

Lower echelon public prosecutors and criminal investigators are at best, coerced into passively sitting on their hands and biting their tongues, or at worst, actively persecuting whistleblowers who are exposing ruling DPP corruption.

To ask victims of ruling DPP corruption to rely on the ruling DPP's criminal justice system to protect them from ruling DPP victimization, is to ask chickens to rely on the fox to guard the henhouse.

Secondly, Cao asserts that because the Pan Blue camp's recall motion cites Chen's unfitness as a political leader, and does not require proof that Chen is guilty of criminal wrongdoing, therefore the Pan Blue camp does not respect "democracy."

Cao: This statement is a shameless attack on Taiwan's democracy. In Western democracies, there is no way to recall a head of state based on political actions ... If it were possible to recall the head of state in two-party or multi-party systems for their political actions, political views and policy differences would turn democracy into a farce where parties would take turns recalling each other's head of state -- a preposterous, unimaginable situation. Such a preposterous and unimaginable situation is currently being played out in Taiwan. The biggest opposition party has held a demonstration to incite the public, and its chairman has even said that "a violation of the law is not necessary" to recall the president, his political actions are enough.

Comment: What precisely does Cao find so "preposterous" and "unimaginable" about recalling an elected official on political, rather than criiminal grounds?

An elected official is, theoretically speaking, a public servant. When a public servant is elected, he is hired. When a public servant is recalled, he is fired.

If electing someone on political grounds is the people's inalienable right, as self-styled "champions of democracy" so shrilly insist, then why isn't unelecting someone on political grounds, i.e., recalling them, also their inalienable right?

Proof of criminal wrongdoing is not necessary to fire an elected official, nor should it be. It is enough that his employer, i.e., the people, the taxpayers, the voters, are unhappy with his job performance.

As California voters know perfectly well, in the fall of 2003, sitting Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled and replaced with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, on political rather than criminal grounds, with no apology needed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, kiss during victory speech

As Wikipedia explains:

Backers of the recall effort cited Gray Davis's alleged "lack of leadership" combined with California's weakened and hurt economy. According to the circulated petition [Governor Davis's actions were a] "gross mismanagement of California Finances by overspending taxpayers' money, threatening public safety by cutting funds to local governments, failing to account for the exorbitant cost of the energy , and failing in general to deal with the state's major problems until they get to the crisis stage."

Gray Davis: "The people did decide that it's time for someone else to serve and I accept their judgment."

No proof of criminal wrongdoing on the part of Davis was necessary to initiate the recall, nor was any offered. Davis was recalled purely on the basis that in the subjective opinion of California voters, he wasn't doing a satisfactory job.

Are Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists truly unable to deduce for themselves what procedures are or are not reasonable under constitutionalism and the rule of law?

Are Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists truly unaware of what the prevailing norms are within "advanced democracies?"

Two possibilities present themselves.

One, Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists know the nonsense they have spouted about the Pan Blue sponsored recall effort is untrue, in which case they are merely dishonest.

Two, Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists actually think the nonsense they have spouted about the Pan Blue sponsored recall effort is true, in which case they are both stupid and ignorant.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Desperate Fear of an Honest Debate

Desperate Fear of an Honest Debate
Bevin Chu
June 11, 2006

A good rule of thumb in political debate is that you can judge the seriousness of an adversary's argument by the seriousness with which he treats yours. If he takes you seriously, it means he's pretty certain he's got you beat on the merits. But if he resorts to hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm, then he clearly fears an honest debate.
-- Eric Alterman
columnist for The Nation, regular contributor to MSNBC

Pan Blue legislators applaud the passage of a motion to recall "President" Chen Shui-bian

The Taipei Times is the English language propaganda organ for the Taiwan independence movement. Taipei Times news reports are often indistinguishable from pro Taiwan independence editorials. Taipei Times editorials meanwhile, are often indistinguishable from the ravings of streetcorner prophets.

But with their sophomorically titled, and even more sophmorically written "Taiwan, Banana Republic of China?" the editors of the Taipei Times have truly outdone themselves.

I have been writing about the Taiwan independence issue for over a decade, since the mid 1990s. I can honestly say that in all that time I have never encountered a pro Taiwan independence editorial as full of hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm as this one.

Read it and decide for yourself whether the editors of the Taipei Times believe they have the Pan Blue opposition beat on the merits of the impeachment and recall controversy, or are terrified of an honest debate?

Read it and decide for yourself whether the editorial doesn't reveal the desperation Taiwan independence spin controllers must be experiencing, more eloquently than anything a Pan Blue pundit might author?

Published on TaipeiTimes
Editorial: Taiwan, Banana Republic of China?
Friday, Jun 09, 2006

Okay, so let's imagine for a moment that, all reason having been tossed aside, President Chen Shui-bian succumbs to the demands of the opposition parties and resigns.

Such an event would mark the end of democracy in Taiwan and the beginning of mob rule. Taiwan would be left with a mockery of a political system based on the mercurial whims of the entrenched political elite. Heads of state could be selected and overthrown based on deals made in backrooms, by ever-changing alliances of different political factions.

Of course, such a system would leave the general public with little room to exercise its right to choose its leaders, but that shouldn't be a problem. Let's take a page from our comrades in Zhongnanhai. They tell the Chinese people that they aren't ready for democracy -- that it is an ugly affair, which inevitably results in chaos.

Well, aren't they correct? Isn't Taiwan chaotic, now that it is a democracy? Isn't the lawlessness of modern Taiwan terrible? Maybe it isn't exactly the anarchy depicted in the film The Road Warrior, replete with bike gangs who terrorize the populace -- but that's the logical next step, isn't it? Oh, the horror of our society. Why, one can't walk the streets at night without fear of being robbed or killed, right?

Luckily, the opposition parties are trying to do something to counteract the vicious chaos of democracy, with its hideous personal freedoms and its awful system of making the government accountable to the people.

They have devised a better system, in which government officials are held to account by other government officials. They can all keep each other honest together, because nothing is so honest as a politician. The more politicians you have, the more honesty you have -- that's the logic behind all of this.

The people need never be bothered by having to make decisions about their country or its leaders -- that's what the political elite is for. The elite is supposed to control things -- that's what makes them elite. And they should control the people, because the people don't know how to control themselves -- that's why there is so much chaos in Taiwan.

So the opposition parties can solve all of this by forcing the president out of office. They don't like him and they don't want him. And why should they? Just because he was duly elected by a majority of the voters? Just because a fundamental underpinning of democratic systems is the belief that governments exist solely by the consent of the governed?

Well, the opposition parties have shown that they believe Taiwan needs no such confusing, namby-pamby hogwash if it wants to get things done. The opposition parties have a better way -- a stronger, simpler way of dealing with the problems of governance.

The opposition parties can ensure that the people will never be upset by having to read stories about government corruption again. After all, they have decades of experience in controlling the media and persecuting critics. If a journalist wants to pester the people by talking about government malfeasance and graft, the solution is simple: shoot her.

Isn't this what the opposition parties envision for us? Can't they bring back the heady, halcyon days of orderly, calm, controlled society? Taiwan can once again grow and prosper under the loving care and stern gaze of Big Brother. Surely it's much more preferable for Taiwan to seek the safety and security of totalitarian rule.

So let's give three cheers for the opposition and their plan to squash the menace and terror of democracy.

2004 President elect Lien Chan (2nd from right) and Vice President elect James Soong (3rd from right)

Illegitimate presidential and vice presidential usurpers Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu

Comment: The truth is I'm reluctant to take too much time out to refute the Taipei Times' editorial. After all, what could I possibly say that wouldn't insult the readers' intelligence? What could I possibly say that wouldn't imply, however inadvertently, that readers couldn't see through the Taipei Times' transparent nonsense without my help?

On the other hand, some readers may be coming into this issue for the first time. These readers may be unfamiliar with Taiwan's Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass political universe, in which "mei you hei bai, zhi you lan lu" (There is no black and white, there is only blue and green). These readers may not have enough background about the presidential impeachment and recall controversy to realize that the Taipei Times' editorial is nothing more than the raucous barking of a dog that can't bite.

These readers deserve a cursory rebuttal. A cursory rebuttal however, is all that is warranted. Anything more would do these readers a disservice, giving them the mistaken impression that the Taipei Times actually presented a case at all.

In fact, the Taipei Times failed to offer a single coherent argument. Instead, it made a string of hysterical allegations and advanced a series of logical non sequiteurs totally unrelated to anything the Pan Blue opposition has said or done.

An American or European reader unfamiliar with Taiwan's politics, after reading the Taipei Times' editorial, might be forgiven for concluding that the Pan Blue opposition was a military junta about to stage a Latin American style coup d'etat and march into the Presidential Palace.

In fact, the predominantly middle class, law-abiding to a fault Pan Blue opposition has made its intentions crystal clear. The Pan Blue opposition intends to impeach or recall Chen Shui-bian, entirely within the constitutional framework of the Republic of China, in strict accordance with the Republic of China's Election and Recall Laws, even though these laws make impeachment or recall nearly impossible.

To impeach Chen, a motion must be initiated by over half of the ROC legislature, endorsed by two-thirds of the ROC legislature, then presented to the 15 member Council of Grand Justices for adjudication.

To recall Chen, a motion must be initiated by over a fourth of the ROC legislature, endorsed by two-thirds of the ROC legislature, then approved by at least half the valid ballots cast by at least half of all eligible voters in a national referendum.

As the editors of the Taipei Times are fully aware, the Pan Blue opposition by itself does not constitute a two-thirds supermajority in the ROC legislature. Without the participation of over 30 Pan Green legislators, the Pan Blue opposition does not have enough votes to recall Chen.

Even if the Pan Blue opposition manages to persuade over 30 Pan Green legislators to side with them against the ruling Pan Green kleptocracy, a successfull recall still requires an absolute majority of at least half of all eligible voters in a national referendum.

Even if the Pan Blue opposition manages to impeach or recall Chen, it has made clear it intends to recognize Chen's running mate and current "vice president" Annette Lu, as his successor.

Do the editors of the Taipei Times care to explain how having Chen's own running mate Annette Lu replace him as president, in strict accordance with the provisions of the ROC Constitution and ROC Election and Recall Laws, "marks the end of democracy in Taiwan and the beginning of totalitarian rule?"

Be aware that as a matter of law, the Pan Blue opposition is not obligated to recognize Annette Lu as Chen's successor. The Pan Blue opposition would be well within its rights to recall both Chen and Lu simultaneously. The Pan Blue opposition's decision to recall only Chen and not Lu is an act of political discretion, not a legal obligation.

Be aware that as a matter of law, Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu should not be sitting in the Presidential Palace in the first place. Both are illegitimate usurpers.

Lien Chan and James Soong are the duly elected president and vice president of the Republic of China, having won the 2004 Republic of China Presidential Election by a 53% to 47% margin.

The only reason Lien Chan and James Soong are not currently sitting in the Presidential Palace is that the Bush II regime pulled a fast one on them. On March 27, 2004, it promised to back their demands for a new election, providing they released their political chokehold on Chen.

But once the 500,000 to 1,000,000 strong crowd of Pan Blue and independent citizens dispersed, the US government, the "world's champion of democracy," stabbed the democratic majority of ROC voters in the back, disingenuously citing the Central Election Commission's rubberstamping of Chen's "election" as the official end of the dispute.

I could painstakingly rebut each and every one of the editorial's hysterical allegations, one after another.

But is that really necessary?

By now, even readers totally unfamiliar with the Taiwan independence issue should be able to see that the Taipei Times' uncontrolled apoplexy has nothing to do with anything taking place in the real world.

The editors of the Taipei Times, by resorting to hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm, have revealed that they are in desperate fear of an honest debate.

Caption: Green government, quality guaranteed ... to be inadequate

Considering the sorry plight of today's Taiwan, the result of the DPP's much touted "lu se zhi zheng, pin zhi bao zheng!" (Green government, quality guaranteed!) they should be.

Friday, June 09, 2006

DPP Rapidly Losing Political Ground

Friday, June 09, 2006
DPP rapidly losing political turf in Taipei on scandals, Shen says
The China Post staff

The "pan-blue" alliance is enjoying a much higher constituency ratio than the "pan-green" camp at about 80:20, compared with the past level of 55:45, following the exposure of a spate of scandals surrounding President Chen Shui-bian's wife and son-in-law, according to ex-lawmaker Shen Fu-hsiung of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Shen made the remarks when delivering a speech at Shuteh University of Science and Technology in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, Wednesday night. Shen forecast that the number of seats at the Taipei City Council held by the DPP would drop to 12 or 13 from the existing 17, while that for the pan-blue camp would rise to 59 or 60.

DPP elder Shen Fu-hsiung, black sheep of the party

Comment: Unfortunately for the DPP, Shen Fu-hsiung is right. Unless the DPP party hierarchy wises up and listens to black sheep party member Shen Fu-hsiung, who insists that the DPP must undergo fundamental reform and reconsider what it stands for, the DPP is finished.

Shen dared to tell DPP True Believers that "The emperor has no clothes!" and had better cover itself up, PDQ. Such frankness is no longer acceptable within today's willfully blind DPP, and Shen has since become a pariah within his own party.

Will the DPP party hierachy heed Shen's advice?

No it won't.

Formally Shen is still a DPP party member, but in name only. Practically speaking, Shen is already an ex DPP party member, and has joined the ranks of ex DPP members Hsu Hsing-liang, Shih Ming-teh, Sisy Chen, and Cheng Li-wen.

The DPP was once a genuinely "democratic and progressive" political party, in which anything and everything was up for debate. But the moment it seized power in 2000, the DPP changed.

Lord Acton said: "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." One is tempted to add: "Near absolute power, corrupts nearly absolutely."

What the DPP acquired in 2000, thanks to the machinations of Pan Green wolf in Pan Blue sheep's clothing Lee Teng-hui, was near absolute power. What that near absolute power did, was corrupt the DPP nearly absolutely.

That near absolute power has nearly absolutely corrupted the Taiwan independence movement, the pro Taiwan independence Democratic Progressive Party, but most of all, the unchallenged leader of both the movement and the party, Chen Shui-bian.

The DPP party hierarchy made a fateful decision with its recent joint statement, signed by DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, Vice President Annette Lu, Premier Su Tseng-chang, and former premier Frank Hsieh.

On May 27, 006, these "Si Da Tian Wang" (Four Great Kings of Heaven), so-called, rallied behind Chen Shui-bian, despite everything Chen has done over the past six years. In doing so, they signed a suicide pact.

As I said in my recent article, "The DPP continues down its Suicidal Path," I welcome their decision. I mean that, in all seriousness.

Why wouldn't a Deep Blue Chinese reunificationist such as myself welcome such a strategic Pan Green blunder?

The DPP is its own worst enemy. The DPP party hierarchy's monumentally short-sighted decision will inflict more political damage upon the largest and most powerful pro independence political party than the shrewdest attempt at political subversion by any strategist within the Pan Blue camp.

The DPP party hierarchy's myopic beyond belief decision to sweep Chen's egregious shortcomings under the rug and pretend nothing is wrong, will ensure the early demise not only of the DPP as a political party, but far more importantly, of Taiwan independence as a political ideology.

Strictly speaking, Pan Blue pundits such as myself shouldn't be putting such insights out there. After all, as Napoleon Bonaparte warned, "Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake."

But Deep Green political leaders are so blinded by their doctrinaire fundamentalism, nothing Pale Green DPP elders such as Shen Fu-hsiung might say or do, let alone anything detested Deep Blue New Party pundits such as myself might say or do, is ever going to persuade them to reflect upon the error of their ways.

As a result, the DPP party hierarchy will continue alienating more and more Chinese people on Taiwan.

As a result, I eagerly look forward to the outcome of the upcoming 2007 Republic of China Legislative Election.

If you thought the 2004 legislative election was a Pan Green debacle, wait til you see the returns from the 2007 legislative election.

This fall, the DPP will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.

It had better make the most of it, because at
the rate it's going, it might not be around to celebrate its twenty-first.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Chen Chin-chu, In Memoriam

Chen Chin-chu, In Memoriam
Bevin Chu
June 05, 2006

Rights are never lost; they are surrendered
-- Chen Chin-chu 陳金珠 (1962-2006)

Chen Chin-chu's older sister protests her tragic and suspicious death

Caption: Chen Chin-chu [protests the 319 shooting hoax] at People's Square

Chen Chin-chu's fellow protestors

Another of Chen Chin-chu's fellow protestors (Note: the flag in this photo was deliberately inverted as a political statement, to indicate that the nation was in distress)

Caption: Chen Chin-chu shows bruises from police manhandling at People's Square

Caption: Female Pan Blue protestor's dead body turns up at Taipei City Hall. Questions abound.

Caption: Chen Chin-chu's body being lowered by a rope to be shipped out

Third floor balcony at Taipei City Hall where Chen's body was found

Third floor balcony at Taipei City Hall where Chen's body was found

Third floor balcony at Taipei City Hall where Chen's body was found

Caption: When Miss Chen Chin-chu's body was found, it was so badly decomposed bones were visible and removal of her body left a clear impression

Caption: Diagram of where Chen's body was found at Taipei City Hall

Banner: Woman patriot dies right on top of Ma Ying-jeou's head. Was she protesting Ma's weakness? Or was it politically motivated murder? Press conference convened by ROC Legislator Joanna Lei (KMT/NP) and Taipei City Councilmen Hou Kuan-chung (NP) and Lee Ching-yuan (NP)

Pan Blue supporters protest on behalf of Chen Chin-chu in front of the Presidential Palace

Caption: Chen Chin-chu's family members toss white flowers in protest

Caption: Chen Chin-chu's body turns up at Taipei City Hall. Family members protest in front of Renai Police Precinct Station

Chen Chin-chu's sister talks to PFP Chairman James Soong

Protest banner: Public outrage. Ruling party corruption and oppression. Opposition party weakness and impotence. Remembering Chin-chu, heroine of the nation

Photo caption: Miss Chen Chin-chu, Patriot and Martyr
Protest signs: Justice for Chin-chu. Chin-chu's spirit lives on

Protest sign: Chen Chin-chu's spirit remains

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Taiwan Independence Movement's Total Contempt for the Rule of Law

The Taiwan Independence Movement's Total Contempt for the Rule of Law
Bevin Chu
June 04, 2006

Pro independence Pan Green legislators, knowing two opposition amendments will pass, prevent a vote by means of physical violence

On May 31, 2006, pro independence legislators in the Republic of China legislature prevented the passage of two amendments that would have permitted direct airline flights and maritime shipping between the mainland region of China and the Taiwan region of China.

Pro independence legislators prevented the passage of the two amendments not by means of a democratic majority in the Republic of China legislature.

Pro independence legislators have never constituted a majority within the ROC legislature.

Pro independence legislators prevented the passage of the two amendments not by resorting to devious but legal stalling tactics.

They already exhausted that option with a failed filibuster.

Pro independence legislators prevented the passage of the two amendments by means of physical violence.

What do I mean by physical violence?

I mean that a pro independence legislator prevented the Republic of China legislature from holding a vote on the two amendments by snatching a cloture petition from a Pan Blue legislator, stuffing it into her own mouth, chewing it up, then spitting it out and tearing it to pieces.

DPP legislator Wang Shu-hui snatches the opposition's cloture petition and stuffs it into her mouth

Female Democratic Progressive Party legislator Wang Shu-hui snatched the cloture petition from the hands of female People First Party legislator Ko Shu-min while Ko was was on the way to the podium to present the petition to Speaker of the Legislature Wang Jing-Pyng.

A dozen or so DPP legislators then surrounded Ko, preventing her from reaching Wang and retrieving the petition.

Wang stuffed the document in mouth to prevent Ko and other PFP legislators who rushed to Ko's aid from retrieving it.

Wang chewed on the petition, mutilating it. She later spat it out and tore it into tiny pieces.

DPP legislator Wang Shu-hiu destroys the opposition's petition by chewing on it

Cloture, for the record, is a parliamentary procedure by which debate is ended and an immediate vote is taken on the matter under discussion. It is also called closure.

The cloture motion would have ended the DPP's fillibuster and enabled a vote on two amendments to the Statute Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

Article 28 of the Statute Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area forbids airplanes and ships from traveling directly to the mainland unless specifically authorized by the government. Mainland airplanes and ships are barred from Taiwan's territorial waters and air space, unless explicitly allowed by Taipei authorities.

The two amendments would have lifted the ban and required the government to allow direct flights and shipping within three to six months. The government would have had to draft a set of regulations enabling direct that period of time.

DPP Legislative Caucus Whip Ker Chien-ming said the DPP would never agree to vote on the two amendments. DPP legislator at large and former premier Chang Chun-hsiung insisted that "Taiwan's sovereignty [sic] is at stake."

The Republic of China Legislature was then forced by procedural rules to go into summer recess.

Will somebody please provide the "Democratic Progressive Party" and the Taiwan Solidarity Union with copies of The Common Law of Parliamentary Procedure and Robert's Rules of Order?

Robert's Rules of Order, circa 1876

Not one Taiwan independence legislator, not one Taiwan independence elder, not one Taiwan independence academic, not one Taiwan independence pundit has spoken out against this outrage against the rule of law.

From this day forward, I never want to hear another "champion of democracy," especially western expatriate Taiwan independence fellow travelers on Taiwan, lecture the Chinese people about "democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law."

Pronunciation (klchr)

n. A parliamentary procedure by which debate is ended and an immediate vote is taken on the matter under discussion. Also called closure.

tr.v. clo·tured, clo·tur·ing, clo·tures

To apply cloture to (a parliamentary debate).

[French clo^ture, from Old French closture, probably alteration of closure, closure; see closure.]

This article draws on information provided by the English language China Post.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"President" relinquishes Nonpresidential Powers

"President" relinquishes Nonpresidential Powers
Bevin Chu

May 31, 2006

Chen Shui-bian, pretender to the Presidency of the Republic of China

One of the essential abilities that any intellectual worthy of the name must possess, is the ability to see what is right under one's nose. This includes the ability to read a news report or op ed piece, and catch any paradoxes "hiding in plain sight" within the news report or op ed piece.

The ability to catch such paradoxes is an a priori deductive ability not dependent upon prior empirical knowledge. Whoever
develops this ability can extract valuable information from an article, even if one knows nothing about the subject being covered or analysed in advance.

These paradoxes, which often go unnoticed even by the journalist or pundit who authored the article, are often the most valuable points in the news report or op ed piece.

Consider for example, the following articles. The first is a news report from Bloomberg, the second is a think piece from Stratfor.

First, let's look at the news report from Bloomberg:

Taiwan President Chen Delegates Some Powers to Cabinet, Premier

James Peng in Taipei
June 1 (Bloomberg)
Last Updated: May 31, 2006 19:05 EDT

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said he will delegate some powers to the Cabinet and premier after his son-in-law was detained last week by prosecutors investigating insider trading, a Presidential Office spokesman said.

``President Chen made the decision late last night and the announcement was issued via the state-owned Central News Agency,'' spokesman David Lee said in a telephone interview today in Taipei. The agency issued the report about 11 p.m. last night.

Chen will retain powers granted him by constitution, Lee said. He is still the military's commander-in-chief of the military and remains in charge of foreign, defense and China policy, the spokesman said.

Comment: Now let's look at the think piece from Stratfor, aka Strategic Forecasting.

Taiwan: Chen Relinquishes Nonpresidential Powers
May 31, 2006 20 34 GMT


Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian announced late May 31 that he is transferring power to the premier and ruling party chief in the wake of the scandal over his son-in-law's alleged insider trading. This removes him from his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) -- distancing him from both internal rifts and the DPP's battles with the opposition Kuomintang -- and separates the DPP from the scandal.


Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has been under increasing pressure since his son-in-law was implicated in an insider trading scandal. He already was suffering from a growing legitimacy crisis, as his push for independence has hurt business interests in Taiwan.

Opposition parties, including the Kuomintang (KMT), are trying to implicate the president in the scandal in hopes of allowing the KMT to begin impeachment proceedings. Under this increasing pressure, and with public opinion polls plummeting to the mid-teens (and the KMT already assumed to take the leadership in the next elections), Chen on May 31 relegated [sic] presidential administrative duties and personnel appointments to the premier and handed over his leadership role in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to the ruling party chief. In essence, he is no longer acting as head of government, but only as head of state. He has not resigned as president but has decided to act only within the strict constitutional definition of presidential roles.

Now that Chen has relinquished his ties to the DPP, the party stands a chance of regaining some ground before local elections in December, which includes the elections for the mayoral post in Taipei. Chen hopes to divert his family's scandals from the DPP and from KMT condemnation, while giving himself more time and space to deal with the accusations.

Chen knows that he has been rendered useless in his current position and needs to change things radically. If Chen is implicated in the scandal involving his son-in-law, there is no doubt that the KMT will begin impeachment proceedings. Although Chen's move will take some pressure off the DPP, if he is able to remain in power he will continue to be a lame-duck president. However, by relinquishing his nonpresidential powers now, Chen might salvage some vestige of respect for his pro-independence party and keep the DPP from sacrificing him in the scandal.

Comment: Did you catch the paradox contained in both the news report and op ed piece? Did you catch the most valuable point of both the news report and op ed piece?

As the Stratfor headline wittingly or unwittingly implied, the most valuable point of both the Bloomberg news report and the Stratfor think piece was that a "president" was relinquishing nonpresidential powers.

Think about what that means for a moment.

That means that prior to relinquishing nonpresidential powers, that "president" had been exercising nonpresidential powers.

That means that prior to relinquishing nonpresidential powers, that "president" had usurped nonpresidential powers.

Political scientists and constitutional law experts have a term for a chief executive who usurps and exercises powers not constitutionally delegated to him, or her. That term is "dictator." More ancient terms are "despot" or "tyrant."

As the Bloomberg news article noted, in the words of Chen's own flunky, David Lee:

"Chen will retain powers granted him by constitution ... "

That means Chen had seized powers not granted him by the constitution.

As the Stratfor think piece noted:

"In essence, he is no longer acting as head of government, but only as head of state. He has not resigned as president but has decided to act only within the strict constitutional definition of presidential roles."

That means Chen had been acting as both head of government and head of state.

That means Chen had been acting outside the strict constitutional definition of his presidential role.

That means that Chen was guilty of gross constitutional violations and should have been impeached or recalled for these offenses alone.

The fact that he is also guilty of every conceivable form of corruption under the sun, including patronage, bribery, extortion, influence peddling, fraud, embezzlement, and nepotism,
is merely, as the Chinese expression goes, "frost on top of the snow," i.e., "insult added to injury."

As I said, the ability to read an article and catch any paradoxes "hiding in plain sight," is of inestimable value. One who possesses this ability can extract valuable information from the article, even if one knows nothing about the subject being covered or analysed in advance.

Of course, those armed with additional, empirical knowledge not mentioned in the above news report and think piece will be aware of an even more fundamental fact, namely that Chen Shui-bian is not the president of the Republic of China in the first place.

I don't use scare quotes around the title "President" when referring to Chen Shui-bian out of contrariness.
I use them because they reflect the legal reality. I use them because Lien Chan is the duly elected president of the Republic of China.

For more on this subject, see my 2004 articles on the 2004 Republic of China Presidential Election

Lien Chan, the duly elected President of the Republic of China

Not only has Chen Shui-bian exceeded the powers of the presidential office, the powers of the presidential office weren't even his to exceed.