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

Monday, May 31, 2004

The day after "The Day After Tomorrow"

Maddog goes to the movies

Yesterday evening was an unusual one for me. I waited in line for half an hour to buy tickets for the much-hyped film "The Day After Tomorrow." I hadn't waited in line that long for anything else in recent memory.

Why'd I do it?

With all the negative publicity the film has been getting, I wasn't expecting too much. However, by viewing the film for myself instead of just taking anybody's word for it, I discovered that the negative publicity is just as exaggerated as it purports "The Day After Tomorrow" to be.

I should've known better than to believe the naysayers.

I was rather pleasantly surprised to find that the story, dramatic pace, acting, and special effects were all high quality. I also did some research and discovered that it's not as "fictional" as some people would prefer you believe.

The film was directed by Roland Emmerich, who has previously brought us such over-the-top films such as "Independence Day" (AKA "ID4," 1996) and the godawful "Godzilla" (1998).

Geez, I wonder why the conservatives weren't hysterically debunking "ID4" and "Godzilla" en masse.

Some people have enough brains to realize that the numerous bad reviews have been written because of the film's "political message" which "could hurt Bush." Here's an excerpt from a review on OpEdNews.com:
It's first rate entertainment with great acting and a solid script that tweaks all the rules of good film-making.

So why is it getting bad reviews? Because there is a political message here. It makes it clear without specifically referring to the Bush administration that they are total buttheads--- fools who choose to ignore science in favor of either business or religion. If you don't like Bush and Cheney going in, you will like them even less going out. If you're not decided, this movie could swing you around to see that these fools are tampering with big stuff, really big stuff of global proportions.

There's some criticism of the science behind this. Okay. That's fine. it's a movie. But actually the science behind it in general is accurate and there is the possibility that this flick shows a possible scenario if global warming goes un-responded to. Some of the predicted weather events may be unlikely, but overall, the story, as entertainment hangs together great-- certainly as well as or better than Independence Day, Volcano or other disaster movies.
MoveOn.org calls it "the movie the White House doesn't want you to see."

The people writing the negative reviews which harp on the "fiction" aspect more than anything simply reaffirm their complete lack of ability to see into even the relatively near future.

Hence the title.

The negative USA Today article linked above doesn't even attempt to hide its fascistic agenda. It opens with this:
The idea was to watch a press preview of The Day After Tomorrow with a scientist, talk with him or her afterwards about the movie's science, and write down the caustic comments.
It goes on to complain about "'hail stones' made of clear ice instead of being opaque as real ones are." Forget the innocuous factual inaccuracies in "The Day After Tomorrow" which are pointed out mostly to pad the reviews. It's only the things with political implications they're really worried about. The real implications for our future? They can't be bothered with that. It would require real thinking.

One review in TownHall, for example, says this:
It's a chance to see tornadoes rip apart Los Angeles, a tidal wave drown Manhattan, and giant hailstones devastate Tokyo (the lack of any meteors suggests they had trouble securing Armageddon's copyright).

All this to herald the abrupt onset of a new ice age.

Oh, yeah -- there's also ice. And snow. Lots and lots of ice and snow. Think Antarctica.
Let's deconstruct that one inanity at a time.
* I saw this on a day when 92 tornadoes hit the U.S. Midwest.
* Despite the term "meteorology," meteors aren't likely to be effected by terrestrial phenomena. Red herring (from outer space).
* "Antarctica." The movie begins in Antarctica with an entire ice shelf cracking off. (Maybe the author of the TownHall piece arrived late to the film and missed that part.) Think "warming." By the way, the Larsen B Ice Shelf actually did break off in March 2002 -- "a few weeks after Emmerich and Nachmanoff had written a scene describing its collapse."
* Global warming and snow don't go together -- or don't seem to -- until you take a look at secondary effects. Think "myopia."
Brain freeze
Remember when Al Gore gave his speech about global warming on a really cold day in New York City? Certain fools jumped on that particular day's weather as indisputable proof that Gore was "cracked."

A simple look at average temperatures over the past 150 years or so would have produced enough cognitive dissonance to have heads exploding all around the Beltway. Gore even displayed a chart with this information during his speech.

But Gore's opponents didn't want to see that. They didn't need to. The temperature on the day of Gore's speech was all that they needed to "prove" that they were "right." "Rightard" is more like it.

Science fiction can portend the future, but it warns us only of future possibilities, not certainties. Whether we choose to heed those warnings and/or search for ways to improve our live is up to us.

A flashback to the conservatives' ignorance about conservation
Here's a look at some items related to Gore's speech that I bookmarked back in January.

Here's a page linking to the Al Gore webcast where I viewed the speech in RealPlayer format. There was also a WindowsMedia file link on the page. Here's Google's cached page. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if those links are still working.

"Blunt: 'Al, It's Cold Outside'":
"It is fitting that Gore chose one of the coldest days of the year to spread false information about the Bush Administration's record on global warming. Mother Nature didn't agree with his message and neither do I. Al, it's cold outside.


"Extreme environmentalism is bad for the millions of American workers trying to make ends meet and compete in a global economy."
Drudge went way over the edge with this one:
Even though forecasters predict Thursday night will bring the coldest temperature reading in New York City in more than 10 years [1 degree above zero], sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT that Gore is determined to deliver the speech -- hoping to make the case how "Global warming" is actually the cause of the record cold snap!
Bob Somerby howls out the truth about the lying liars and clowning clowns:
Don’t worry: In Hollywood, Miller is honing the message. After all, he even saw Brit recite it last night. Yep! A Pander Bear was going polar on last evening’s Special Report:
HUME: In a case of unfortunate timing, former Vice President Al Gore was in New York City today attacking the Bush
administration’s policies on global warming. Gore called President Bush, quote, a “moral coward on the environment.” He said evidence of the warming problem is undeniable.

GORE (on tape): I really don’t think there is any longer a credible basis for doubting that the earth’s atmosphere is heating up because of global warming.

HUME: As Gore spoke, New Yorkers were freezing in 18-degree weather with a wind chill of one degree. And forecasters were saying that tonight could be the coldest January 15 in 47 years.
That was Hume’s entire report! Increasingly, your discourse is managed by clowns. Disaster is one sure result.
Clowns! Disaster!

Just how does Bob do it?! How could he have possibly foreseen these events with such clarity four and a half months ago when the rightards can't even see "The Day After Tomorrow"?!

They don't want you to see it either! Otherwise, you might start thinking about things and talking about them -- and maybe even doing something.

I'd rate it 7 out of 10 stars. Don't just believe me, though. Go find out for yourself.

The Memorial Day after "The Day After Tomorrow"
"This Memorial Day weekend, what does it mean to you?" asked Judy Woodruff during a poorly-prepared interview in which she also asked World War II POW Ned Handy about being shot down in Italy when he was actually shot down in Germany.

My own answers to that question would vary.

Like every other Memorial Day, this one should remind us to question why wars are fought in the first place and why we can't seem to figure out ways to avoid them. Another is that it should be a strong reminder that the current war in Iraq, in which over 800 American soldiers have died, was a supposedly "pre-emptive" war which was started when no "imminent threat" ever existed.

This is a very sad Memorial Day, indeed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Nonsense and lack of sensibility

Taiwan's opposition and Beijing are two of a kind

Taiwan's opposition has been spreading unfounded rumors that the Chen Shui-bian administration has "struck a deal" with the United States to send marines to Iraq. The local news media has taken this and made it into an ever-increasing snowball which is bound to crash into something sooner rather than later.

It seems that nobody knows where this nonsense really got started. The Taipei Times says variously that it came from a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator via a May 16 Los Angeles Times story, and from an April 27 article by William Triplett in the US magazine Human Events.

In order for the snowball to reach maximum velocity, People First Party (PFP) legislator Chou Hsi-wei made the accusation this Monday that "former presidential secretary-general Chiou I-jen ... struck a deal with the United States, and will send troops to Iraq in return."

... and you found that info where, Mr. Chou?

Forecast: mostly cloudy; 100% chance of rumormongering
By yesterday, the topic was completely surrounded by a cloud of rumors.

Today, even the U.S. is having to repeat denials that this ever occurred. While the current administration usually can't be trusted to tell the truth even about things like poetry or the weather, I tend to believe the summation (if not the details) on this one.

While Republican Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher and Jim Ryun have promoted the idea, it is only in the form of a resolution which isn't likely to pass.

In other words, two Republicans kicking around an idea do not automatically make this an inevitability. Despite both of these Congressmen being described as supporting Taiwan, this harebrained idea of theirs should assure that this so-called "support" will be described in the past tense in any future reports.

Wolf! Wolf!
When I first saw this news running in the newsbars of 3 pro-blue TV news stations (Era News, ETTV, and SET) Saturday night just before midnight, I was already convinced that it had to be an exaggeration, if not an outright fabrication.

Even more things about this rumor don't make sense.

First of all, the U.S. doesn't have "official" relations with Taiwan, nor is Taiwan represented in the United Nations. Unless the Rohrabacher/Ryun Resolution got some tips from Harry Potter, these facts wouldn't just change upon its (impossible) approval. That alone should put such rumors not only to bed, but send them to a timely grave.

But sensibility can certainly never be allowed to get in the way of a juicy news story.

Secondly, Iraq is a quagmire wrapped in a cluster fuck inside of a SNAFU. Even if Taiwan had official relations with the U.S., it wouldn't be such a smart move to get involved at all, much less sending 5,000 of its 35,000 marines to Iraq during a time in which China continues to ratchet up its threats against Taiwan.

Faced with this kind of situation (or even without it, for that matter), I couldn't possibly believe that Taiwan would be sending its troops off to Iraq.

If you want the "truth" behind this story, whatever you do, don't expect the pro-blue media to provide it.

Kiwi kicks China in the nuts
At the same time, New Zealand lawmaker Peter Dunne, a United Future Party leader, was "scolded" by a Chinese diplomat for attending President Chen's May 20 inauguration ceremony in a statement which was described by Dunne as "bizarre" and "offensive."

But Dunne didn't take this bullying lying down. He is quoted in an AP article published in the Taipei Times as saying "I know the Chinese wouldn't understand anything about democracy and freedom, but this is a free country, I have the right to travel."

Rah, rah, ree!
Kick 'em in the knee!
Rah, rah, rutz!
Kick 'em in the other knee!

Related links:
* Forumosa thread: Taiwan to send troops to Iraq???
* Forumosa thread: Chen Shui-bian -- the man
* New Zealand Herald: China told to back off over Dunne visit

Friday, May 21, 2004

World media kowtows to Beijing, echoes their lies

Bullies play victim
A current Google news search for "Chinese Media Slam Taiwan President" finds a story with that title repixelated at least 33 times by media outlets ranging from the Atlanta Journal Constitution to the San Jose Mercury News to the San Francisco Chronicle to the Guardian, UK.

Out of all the statements contained within that article, there is probably only one (questionably) positive-sounding statement which says that the White House called Chen Shui-bian's inaugural address "responsible and constructive" -- as if the White House has any credibility about anything.

The rest of the article panders to China, which acts as if Taiwan is the bully. Here are some examples [with emphasis added]:
Chinese state media branded Taiwan's president a "slippery politician" ... While most newspapers featured Chen Shui-bian on their front pages, the stories focused more on protests generated by his swearing-in Thursday after a disputed election victory. Many also carried interviews with academics denouncing Chen's motives for the inaugural address. ... An editorial in the China Daily proclaimed: "Chen Shui-bian's latest offer of 'goodwill' turns out to be another sham."

"His latest inaugural address is once again gaudily decorated with such 'universal human values' as 'public welfare,' 'freedom and democracy,' as well as 'peace and goodwill,'" the editorial said. "The very latest, and the most beguiling words of a slippery politician."

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry hours after he took office called him the "biggest threat to the current peace and stability" in the region.

"Damn that Chen Shui-bian" for "making China" aim all those missiles (more than 500 of 'em) at him, eh?

If you want something a little more revealing, try reading the inaugural speech for yourself. (Basic understanding of Taiwan's political situation and the ability to think for yourself required. Batteries not included.)

No truth, no pan-blues
My wife was wondering aloud earlier tonight where the surviving victims of the "228 incident" and Taiwan's "White Terror" era have been these days and why they aren't out counterprotesting Lien Chan and James Soong's so-called search for the "truth" of "why President Chen Shui-bian didn't just fall down and die" when he was shot the day before the March 20 election.

Despite their age, the people affected directly by those incidents are the ones who could best shout down Lien and Soong, who are/were members of a party which ruled Taiwan for 50 years -- most of that time with an iron fist. Everything they do reveals how they now pretend to be "victims" of the very people they bullied.

How could they possibly know what being a victim is?

Turnabout is fair play, ain't it?
I wonder how Lien and Soong would change their definition of what is and isn't "reasonable" if the pan-greens were to ask them, "Did you have Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu shot?" When (If?) they were to deny it, the pan-greens would tell them that they weren't satisfied with the answer and would not be satisfied until they revealed the "truth" and produced the killer. In the meantime, they would be instantly rendered personae non grata by the mere fact that the question had been asked.

Doesn't that sound just about right, according to the rules as the pan-blues have written them?

"Must read" related links:
* Unanswered Crimes, Short Term Memories and Rose-colored Glasses: An Open Letter to the Strawberry Generation
* Only KMT merits the 'fascist' label
* The full text (English translation) of Chen Shui-bian's May 20, 2004 inaugural speech

Thursday, May 20, 2004

"United" only in their divisiveness

Can you say "Napoleon complex"?

On the day of Chen Shui-bian's inauguration after being re-elected as Taiwan's president back on March 20, the opposition crybaby sore losers of that election, Lien Chan and James Soong, declared themselves president and vice-president of the "Republic of China," while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Headquarters across from the Presidential Office bore a huge billboard reading "No Truth, No President."

The awkwardly-worded slogan supposedly refers to Chen's "refusal to explain" why neither he nor his running mate Annette Lu died in an assassination attempt the day before the election. However, I think they were actually -- if inadvertantly -- referring to the people on their own stage in front of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Not much truth was spoken on the pan-blues' stage, and there were no presidents in attendance -- only a couple of wannabe emperors!

Furthermore, if they believe that the "truth" -- as they suggested earlier today -- is that "as of today Taiwan has no president," then Lien and Soong simultaneously poofed themselves out of existence.

"We don't think, therefore we're not"?

Dumb and dumber still
While People First Party (PFP) chairman and loser V-P candidate Soong was accusing President Chen this morning of "hiding behind bulletproof glass," Soong himself was "hiding" behind some kind of shields which were placed as protection at the front of the very stage from which he was speaking.


Although President Chen was still wearing a bulletproof vest (as prudence would suggest in the current political climate), he had already dispensed with the barriers, supposedly because of all the other redundant levels of security in place.

Still, a "wrist rocket" sling shot was confiscated by police from a protester at the KMT headquarters. In a raid of an underground weapons factory in Taipei today, a rifle and three automatic pistols were recovered, and one Su Ta-wei (sp?) was arrested.

Other arrests related to rocket launchers were also made in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung last night, and another group selling guns and drugs was caught in a hotel near a pre-inaugural celebration there.

Dividers uniting for greater divisive power?
The latest big measure in the pan-blues' desperate attempt to regain power is a proposed merger of the three opposition parties: the KMT, the PFP, and the New Party. This was all decided by the senior figures of the three parties without ever consulting their lower-ranking members, and it has pissed off more than a few people within their own parties. (And they accuse Chen of behaving like a "dictator"!) This sort of behavior will certainly negate many of the benefits of such a merger.

One of the most hilarious aspects of the plan is its so-called "ethnic harmony" platform. The pan-blues have recently claimed that Chen's campaign created a great deal of "ethnic divisiveness." (See earlier post for more.)

While Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been very opposed to China because of the 500-plus missiles it currently has pointed at Taiwan, it is not against the ethnic Chinese living in Taiwan except those particular individuals who seek to forcefully unify Taiwan with "the Mainland." Those people are full of it, but there are many others (Ruan Ming, Chin Heng-wei, and Hsieh Chih-wei, for example) who are immigrants from China that support the DPP.

And of course, we mustn't forget that the KMT is the party which forbade Taiwanese people from speaking Taiwanese while ruling via martial law until the mid-1980s. Not a good foundation from which to start such a pogrom, er, program.

Bestiality in the comics?
Today's Liberty Times does a wonderful portrayal of the "animal husbandry" experiment this combination of exclusive hatemongering groups seems to be. The 'toon features a crazed cow fucking a horse. The sign on the fence reads: "Location of the KMT-PFP Merger Experiment." A farmer in the background is saying, "In four years, we can try again with a Soong-Lien ticket" (meaning with Soong as the presidential candidate and Lien as his V-P).

Yeah, but what about Chen?
Chen's inaugural speech this morning reached out to China while simultaneously defending "policies that anger the communist giant." While the opposition could only repeat "No truth, no president" like a broken record, Chen was talking about future plans for revisions to the Constitution that would include "reforms to the legislature, lowering the voting age and changes to military service requirements."

Chen is clearly the man for this job -- not Lien, who only knows how to criticize Chen (and isn't even good at that).

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Hou You-yi: Feng is full of shit!

Taiwan's English-language media should be all over this!

Of the 3 English-language newspapers published in Taiwan, only the China Times -- whose owners don't seem to know they're not in China -- mentions anything about the insane theory of People First Party (PFP) legislator Feng Ting-kuo who was on TV yesterday purporting to reveal how Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian "staged" his own shooting on the eve of the March 20 presidential election. The article has this to say:
[Feng] demonstrated during a parliamentary committee meeting his theory with a one-meter long steel tube that had an opening of about 10 cm on its side near the center.

He pressed the tube on his abdomen, with the opening facing him. He said if a shot was fired from one end of the tube, the bullet would travel through it, leaving a wound exactly like that on Chen's belly.
The same China Times article also quotes Criminal Investigation Bureau chief Hou You-yi as saying "This is too imaginative." Hou's comment stands in sharp contrast to what Feng was claiming in an interview on TVBS-N last night during which he said that Hou had told him during a conversation "in the bathroom" that he "agreed" with Feng.

According to a Chinese-language article on Yahoo! Taiwan News, however, it sounds more like Hou is saying this: "The legislator is full of it." (My translation of Li4 wei3 de0 xiang3 xiang4 li4 tai4 feng1 fu4, more directly, "[The] legislator's imagination [is] too abundant." NOTE: The definite article "the" doesn't exist in his Chinese sentence, and the singular/plural form of "legislator" cannot be determined from the quote. Hou could actually be saying that all legislators are cracked.)

A repeat viewing of what I videotaped from the TVBS-N broadcast last night reveals to me that anchor Chen Ya-lin did ask Feng about Hou's quote (just after I started recording while I was probably still fumbling with the remote control). Feng responded that Hou was only saying such things in public, but that privately (i.e., during their conversation "in the bathroom") Hou agreed with him (Feng) -- the same person whom Hou basically was saying (in public) is "mental." Can you get any more "mental" than Feng?

Birds of a feather
The PFP is overflowing with some real mental cases: Feng, Chiu Yi, Liu Wen-hsiung, Chou Hsi-wei, Shen Chih-hui, Chin Huei-chu, Diane Lee, Lee Ching-hua -- and let's not forget their chairman, James "Loves-to-Kneel" Soong. These people are dangerous to society, and something should be done about them. However this gets handled, it will probably have to be a joint effort of the police and social services.

Monday, May 17, 2004

More "clouds" in Taiwan's news

Could it be somebody smoking crack?

People First Party (PFP) legislator Feng Ting-kuo is out of his freakin' mind, and he's doing his best to make sure everybody knows it.

Feng was talking to anchor Chen Ya-lin on TVBS-N a short while ago and claiming that an unnamed "Army general" told him how Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian "staged" the March 19 assassination attempt which left him with relatively minor injuries.

And it only took 58 days to figure it out!

Before the shooting, Feng "explains," Chen put a pipe with a slice along the side (just big enough to cause the wound) directly against his belly and somehow fired a bullet through it while riding on a moving open jeep past crowds of supporters during a campaign parade the day before the election, miraculously achieving a "perfect" non-fatal wound.

According to Feng (whose surname just happens to be a homonym for "crazy"), Chen also received an anesthetic injection and an application of ointment prior to the event.

What evidence he's basing this on is anyone's guess, but shit, who needs "evidence" when you've got invisible friends on your side (and only you can talk to them)?

But wait! What about that pesky bullethole in the windshield?

That bullet which struck Vice-President Annette Lu in the same incident was from a real assassin, Feng admits, but the other one which struck Chen wasn't.

I'm still not quite sure who Feng thinks pulled the trigger or why a bullet wouldn't be able to ricochet off and pass through the sides of such a pipe -- risking death for Chen -- or where the bulletholes in Chen's clothes came from or how he reconciles Lu's real shooting with Chen's coincidentally "staged" shooting.

The most likely scenario is that Feng is just desperate because he knows he'll soon either be in jail or out in the real world having to earn a real living.

As further "proof" of his insane theory, Feng claimed in the TVBS appearance that he discussed his "crack'd-pipe" theory with Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Hou You-yi -- who supposedly agreed with him -- while they were in the bathroom together.

I'm reeeeeeeeeeeally interested in what Hou will have to say about this in tomorrow's news.

By the way, Feng is one of the psycho-legislators who was present at the March 26 riot at the Central Election Commission office in Taipei which resulted when the official announcement of the March 20 election was about to be made. Be sure to see the photo of Feng embroiled in the riot and read his denial:
"I arrived at the CEC with Taipei City Councilwoman Huang Shan-shan, who is also one of our alliance's lawyers, around 1pm that day. We went upstairs to talk to CEC officials until 5pm. How could it be possible that I encouraged the crowd to riot?" Feng said.
That picture speaks at least a thousand words in response to that question.

All smoke, no mirrors
In the meantime, the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) loser presidential candidate has made his own contributions to the "lack of introspection department" by calling members of his own party "wimps" for not wanting to participate in his crybaby sore loser rallies or for urging him to accept defeat in the presidential election.

With all this smoke, you might think that the pan-blues could find a single mirror with which to examine themselves!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

A cornucopia of clouds over Taiwan

Pan-blues are still insatiable power-sluts

Over the past week, Taiwan's weather has been hot and sunny, but the media has seen to it that there have been lots of "clouds" nevertheless.

The media in China has repeatedly [LINK 1, LINK 2, LINK 3] published the same article (in various locations) saying "Chen urged to cancel inauguration." The key quote among the echoes says that "Taiwan media reports said that already more than 30,000 votes have been challenged" and that according to the crybaby sore loser opposition pan-blues, this should "prompt the president to call off next Thursday's inauguration."

In their friggin' dreams!

Chen won the election by just under 30,000 votes, so it's simply a convenient number for the pan-blues to throw to the media lapdogs.

In the hopes of further spreading their propaganda to English speakers overseas, the opposition has enlisted "more than 200" supporters as far away as New York to chant slogans such as "stolen presidency" while claiming that "more than 330,000 'invalid ballots' had been discovered since the recount began."

Talk about a cumulonimbus!

That's the same number of invalid ballots that were discovered during the original count, as pointed out in a Taipei Times article titled "Civic group proud over number of invalid ballots" which reminds readers that there was an alliance that was trying to generate a million invalid ballots! Unless you were following these events from the beginning, the claims of the New York protesters might seem shocking.

Let's take a peek at the man behind the curtain.

As early as last Tuesday (only the second day of the recount), Taiwan's High Court was already urging the pan-blues, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and the media to stop commenting on the ballot recount and suggested for both sides to "sit back and relax" until the judges had determined how many of the "questionable" ballots would be classified as "invalid." TV media has been reporting unverified figures regarding recount "discrepancies" all week anyway.

The inauguration is to be held this Thursday, May 20, and we should expect a lot more clouds in the meantime. A real live typhoon may make even it to the island by that time. Then again, it may just be more fearmongering propaganda from the pan-blue media.

An aside:
While out at the nearby hypermarket earlier this evening, I saw a man wearing a shirt with "Tong yi Zhong Guo, Taiwan" ("Taiwan, reunify with China") written on the back. It made me want to spit.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

No "major disturbances" in Taiwan's recount

Backstory rife with military-grade acronyms

Today's Taipei Times reports that there have been "no major disturbances" in the recount of the ballots from the March 20 presidential election in Taiwan as of press time -- implying that things are simply SNAFU -- but things are actually FUBAR if you're looking in the right places.

The pan-blues being more predictable than the weather, I didn't bother to use qualifiers like "I guess" or "probably" when I foretold in my last post of what "we will see the two-faced crybabies" doing, and they immediately proved me right.

ETTV News last night was running a loop of computer-generated examples showing what would have been considered "valid" ballots in the election. These included ones where the voter's name chop was stamped mostly in the appropriate box but extended past its boundaries, ones where the ink had smeared leaving an obviously reversed "ghost" impression in the other candidates' box, and one where the voter had placed their stamp over the picture of the candidate (as was the procedure in previous elections) but canceled the mark and placed their stamp in the appropriate place for the same candidate -- all of which were made legal before voters went to the polls on March 20. (RTFM)

The problem was that all the examples they showed were ballots which would count for the Chen-Lu (Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu) ticket -- the implication behind the entire recount being that they "stole" the election via a "staged" assassination attempt and "vote fraud." While similar votes for the Lien-Soong (Lien Chan and James Soong) ticket would be counted the same way, an aftertaste remained which told me that the people at ETTV were doing their best to imply otherwise.

This creates "clouds of suspicion" -- the very thing which the pan-blues accused Chen-Lu of creating by being shot the day before the election. Want more "clouds"? Keep reading...

Yesterday's TV news was also reporting that there were already over 1,000 ballots which have been set aside as being "disputable" (in favor of Lien-Soong), yet these reports weren't giving viewers the whole picture. As far as the pan-blues are concerned, any vote counted towards the winning Chen-Lu team on March 20 would be "in dispute," but in the end, it is up to the judges to determine if -- by the rules put in place before the election -- the "disputed" votes should count in favor of either pair of candidates or be declared "invalid" once again.

But since the pan-blues own and/or control most of the media, the news you see will, of course, be full of pro-blue propaganda because the pan-blues know deep in their cold black hearts that if they let justice run its course, they will still -- and even more clearly than before -- be the losers.

Another bit of "up-is-downism" coming from the opposition sore loser crybaby pan-blue ticket is the claim that they will accept the recount -- but only if it's "fair." Everybody knows that Lien's only definition of a "fair" election (DILLIGAFF?) is one in which he wins. He and Soong lost separately in 2000 and together in 2004, and they just can't accept this second defeat. "Sore loser crybabies" is just about the only way to describe them.

I'm gonna forecast heavy clouds for at least the next 9 days.

Monday, May 10, 2004

On your marks, get set, ...

Cry: "Unfair!"

The recount of the results of the March 20 presidential election in Taiwan has begun today, and we can certainly expect more whining from the opposition crybaby sore losers before it's all over.

The parameters set for the recount by Taiwan's High Court state that it should be over within 10 days (just in time for the May 20 inauguration ceremony), and I expect that the pan-blue opposition "leaders" will do their damnedest to imitate the behavior of the sore loser of the 2000 presidential election in the United States.

Over the next week and a half, we will see the two-faced crybabies attempting to change the rules again, trying to redefine what an "invalid ballot" is, saying that the military alert (which has existed since the days of KMT rule) caused an "unfair" outcome, continuing to change their approach to the recount process, and demanding (again) that there be a whole new election.

In fact, pan-blue legislators were already complaining yesterday afternoon about the ballots in a bag in Taipei County which "wasn't sealed." According to an article in today's Chinese-language Liberty Times, the bag was simply being used to more conveniently move several smaller bags -- which were sealed -- to the recount location. While it's certainly not wrong for them to ask why the bag wasn't closed, it is wrong for them to take it to the media before even asking the appropriate people.

If and when Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu are again declared the winners, the pan-blues will most likely say that the judiciary is biased in favor of the ruling party. I wish they would first allow the job to be finished. If they have reasonable complaints at that time, they can voice them reasonably. Until then, they should quit all their "pre-emptive" complaining.

Related link:
Yahoo! News slideshow

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Pro-China psycho bitches on the loose in Taiwan

Opposition still thinks Chen Shui-bian is a "dictator"

An arrest of the person who allegedly phoned in threats to the embassies of seven of Taiwan's diplomatic allies was made yesterday. 42-year-old Hsieh Hung-yi was taken in for questioning for allegedly "calling seven foreign representative offices and threatening their diplomats on April 16," according to an article in today's Taipei Times.

The details of the threats, missing from my last post, have now been revealed. Hsieh allegedly told the embassy employees that "their ambassadors would be assassinated if they attend[ed] Chen's inauguration."

The overused excuse of "unemployment made me do it" was invoked by the suspect, who at first denied the charges then subsequently admitted to making the threats. It just so happens that Hsieh used to work for the China Times (Taiwan, you stupid mofos), and has been married to two different wives from China.

It's also rather interesting that he returned to Taiwan from China less than a month ago. (I don't know if I'd be making too many international trips if I were unemployed.)

And while the blab shows on local TV tonight are "debating" whether President Chen is a dictator or not, Hsieh has already been released from police custody.

No weapons at the inauguration, please
In other news, arrests in the southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung earlier this year netted loads of weapons, including a rocket launcher which was smuggled out of a military base in nearby Pingtung. More arrests related to this case took place earlier this week. I can't find anything on the story in the English press, but an article in yesterday's Chinese-language Liberty Times describes some of the details.

According to my read of the article, Kaohsiung police arrested a group of people in early February of this year selling guns and drugs. Among the weapons recovered at that time was a "66" rocket launcher (M66?), a model used by Taiwan's military. As a result, the police formed a special investigative task force in cooperation with the military. Information obtained from one of the suspects in the February arrest led them to 2 others (Yang Chih-jen and Huang Teng-hui [sp?]) whose phones were then tapped in order to determine who their contact in the military was, but authorities were awaiting more results before going ahead with arrests.

However, due to the many threats related to the inauguration ceremony which is looming on the horizon (May 20) and information that the suspects who were still at large were about to have a rendezvous with their military contact (Tseng Pai-tung [sp?]), a 24-year-old assistant platoon leader ranked at sergeant in Taiwan's Air Force), police and MPs sped things up and moved in on Tuesday, arresting the 3 suspects. Arrested along with them were a Chang Hsing Elementary School disciplinarian (Chang Sheng-fang [sp?]) and the alleged courier, Huang Tien-szu (sp?).

More on "freedom of the press"
While simultaneously saying that "Taiwan's journalists enjoy a level of freedom that is rare in Asia," Reporters Without Borders' 2004 report on press freedom in Taiwan is itself full of falsehoods (I don't think Hung Che-cheng ever worked for the Taiwan Daily News, for example), distortions ("endangering public health" isn't included under the "freedom of the press" umbrella), misrepresentations, and unsubstantiated allegations. The report contains this bit of whiny nonsense:
[T]here are still laws in place that allow journalists to be imprisoned for defamation, revealing "state secrets" or publishing reports that jeopardise "national security." A journalist was sentenced to a year and a half in prison in 2003 for a report about military manoeuvres.
Well, duh! Is these any country on earth where one can legally -- and with impunity -- defame people or do things that endanger national security?

Who do these psycho legislators think they are when they say that arresting someone who has publicly threatened to kill an elected president counts as "making a fuss"?

Monday, May 03, 2004

Just how much does "freedom of the press" cover?

Does it include giving airtime to presidential assassination plotters?

Lai Chu-hsing, a 40-year-old Taiwanese man who recently announced the creation of the "Revolution Party," was arrested Sunday for an alleged plan to kill Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian and former president Lee Teng-hui.

What's even more outrageous than the threat itself is that Lai "was invited on several TV programs to talk about his assassination plan," according to the Taiwan Quick Take section of today's Taipei Times. (Was this not a cover story because the Taipei Times was smart enough to know better?) I would absolutely support the press' right to go find the guy and interview him, but to give him the kind of free publicity that would allow him to promote his murder plot is just plain fucked up! I hope that an investigation into the media figures who invited Lai to appear will result in indictments as accessories to his apparent crime.

In all of the news I read on this subject, no mention was made as to whether Lai was possibly connected to the March 19 shooting the day before the recent election which left both the President and Vice-President with non-lethal bullet wounds.

The Chen-Lu ticket won the election by less than 30,000 votes, and the crybaby sore loser opposition pan-blue alliance has been screaming, whining, rioting, and making all kinds of threats ever since. A recount of the votes is scheduled to begin on May 10, just 10 days before the inauguration ceremony, but there's nothing to suggest that it would have a different result than the original ballot count on March 20.

Other threats
Taiwan has only 26 diplomatic allies around the world. From these countries, 15 heads of state are said to be planning to attend the May 20 inauguration ceremony in Taipei. According to the BBC, six foreign embassies in Taipei -- all from Latin-American countries -- have received "threatening phone calls" warning them not to attend the ceremony. Further details of the threats were not revealed. The BBC article also mentions protests planned by the opposition, but those details are also missing.

The latest buzz I have heard locally is that the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, or KMT) -- at the suggestion of the People First Party (PFP) -- is planning to put up a large billboard with a picture of a gun and 2 bullets on the face of their opulent headquarters across from the Presidential Office and to fly the ROC flag at half-mast. If they want to look even more ridiculous than they already do, I say go for it!
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