"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Monday, April 05, 2004

About those "Taiwanese" "students" who want "truth" and "democracy"...

Yesterday, I mentioned eight "students" at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Plaza and their slogans "Fight for Democracy" and "Want truth." I didn't mention that they are staging a hunger strike. Who gives a shit?! Today's news gives us a closer peek at the "man behind the(ir) curtain."

Taiwan's FTV News has reported tonight that among these eight supposedly "nonpartisan" "students," there are at least three who work for the opposition People First Party (PFP) whose chairman James Soong was the crybaby loser V-P candidate in the recent election here.

In FTV's on-air report, one of those who is said to work for the PFP showed his student ID, but much of the information on it was blacked out. Perhaps he is no longer in school -- not necessarily having graduated, mind you -- but still uses it to try to get "student" ticket prices at the movies.

According to the FTV report, the eight "nonpartisan" "students" are also behind a website (http://dyu.hopto.org) which automatically redirects visitors to another site (http://blueyoung.hopto.org) [NOTE: "blue young" = "pan-blue youth"]. An e-mail address which the news report says is listed there (pfpe2k@yahoo.com.tw) represents the People First Party's ("pfp") young supporters ("e2k"). The "hopto.org" addresses are hosted at http://www.no-ip.com/, a site which says they "offer a wide range of services pertaining to your internet presence, from that pesky dynamic IP problem to getting around ISPs who block port 25." [NOTE: Blocking port 25 is done in an attempt to prevent people from sending spam e-mail.] Coupled with all the redirecting and the fact that I can't access either of those web sites tonight, that sounds awfully suspicious to me.

Taiwan's Chinese-language BBS's have been abuzz today with talk of these eight protesters, calling them "fake lilies" -- the term being derived from an actual student democracy movement in Taiwan 14 years ago whose participants called themselves the "Formosan Lilies." (The indigenous flower known as the Formosan lily is "a symbol of the nation's dedication to freedom.")

When Minister of Education Huang Jong-tsun (appointed to his position by the DPP government) attempted to visit the demonstrators earlier today, he was physically attacked by pan-blue supporters. On this very same day, Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (KMT) accused the Chen Shui-bian government of trying to impose a "police state" for attempting to have these demonstrators removed. [NOTE: The students, at this writing, are still there.] So far, they've been there for almost three days asking for "the truth," but it seems that they already have their minds made up as to what that "truth" is.

On a side note, while around 50 police were injured in clashes with demonstrators in the early morning hours of April 4 on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, police were the ones who were forced by opposition lawmakers in the Taipei City Council to apologize to some of the protesters who were injured -- protesters who were throwing metal parking barricades at the police. Does this sound like a "police state" to you? And what of the area's residents, the patients in nearby hospitals, and students attending classes in the vicinity who have been disturbed by the incessant noise for the past two and a half weeks? Who's going to apologize to them?

Some of the original "Formosan Lilies" had a letter published in this morning's Chinese-language Liberty Times which rhetorically asks these students, "Who was it that we know cheated in past elections?" (Answer: the KMT) "Who was responsible for the era in Taiwan known as 'White Terror'?" (Answer: the KMT) "Who controlled the courts for as long as anyone can remember?" (Answer: the KMT) "Who refused to allow Taiwan's local culture [e.g., Taiwanese puppet shows] or languages [Taiwanese, Hakka] to be broadcast on Taiwan's three television stations [before the days of cable madness]?" (Answer: James Soong, when he was the KMT's Minister of Information) "Do [these 'students'], in fact, understand what 'democracy' is?" (Answer: obviously not) [My translation. Parenthetical factual answers and bracketed elements not in original.]

The "Formosan Lilies" letter also requested that these "students" allow the courts to do their job if they really want to understand the "truth," because their protests currently have no point whatsoever. Until the courts have had the chance to do their job, these protesters will not only be hurting themselves with their hunger strike, but will also be causing more damage to social stability. The issues about which they're "asking" are already being addressed through legal channels. Is society just supposed to cave in to the protesters' demands if they shout loudly enough, just as the parents of spoiled brats do?

This reminds me of one bigmouth on local TV who started a saying which subsequently became ubiquitous in Taiwan: "Zhi3 yao4 wo3 xi3 huan1, you3 shen2 mo bu4 ke3 yi3?" (Loose translation, "Why can't I just have whatever the fuck I want whenever the fuck I want it?")

One talk show on the air late this evening had a Soochow University professor (Lin Chien-lung) suggesting that these eight "students" need to do some research into what "reasonable doubt" is. The host of this show (Hsieh Chih-wei) also displayed photos of two of those "students" (Chen Cheng-feng and Chen Hsin-ju [UPDATE: spelling corrected]) standing behind James Soong (PFP) onstage at campaign rallies earlier this year as further proof that the things they're saying couldn't be further from the truth.

I've got my own rhetorical question for these eight "students." Are you really nonpartisan, or are you being paid by the pan-blues to do their whining for them? I want the motherfucking truth, motherfuckers!
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