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

Monday, November 14, 2005

The pan-blue version of "free speech"

Their cups runneth over with irony
When it came to TVBS stirring up the emotions of people like Chen Yi-hsiung (who killed himself after shooting the president and vice-president) and Tu Shih-san (who was apprehended after he threatened to "execute" the premier and his family), Taiwan's pan-blue opposition lawmakers and the media who support them were talking tough and shouting out loud about "freedom of speech."

Yet when their own shit hits the fan and it all starts to fly back into their faces, they immediately cry "foul!"

Without a ground to stand on
Example number one is the case of Lee Huan's family. Lee Huan is a former premier and education minister. His son and daughter are now legislators. Son Lee Ching-hua was originally in the KMT, left to join the PFP, and was later coaxed back into the KMT fold. His trademark behavior, when making accusations against political opponents in the legislature, is to hold up a pan-blue/pro-China/pro-unification newspaper such as the United Daily News and shout, "Niiiiiiiiii kàn!" ("Look!"). His sister, Diane Lee (Lee Ching-an), is a former Chinese Television System (CTS) anchor and reporter, and is currently PFP legislator infamous for repeated libelous smears against DPP officials.

Recent pan-green media reports said that the Lees had been seen in a Macau casino "accompanied by a man with a Beijing accent" and that the father and son Lees had "spent a good deal of time in a 'chicken farm,' or whorehouse, on the first floor of the casino." Their immediate response to this was to threaten the reporters with lawsuits, but after reporters proved that they weren't doing "Chen Shui-bian's dirty work" or accusing them of laundering money, the Lees admitted that they had, in fact, gone to the casino, but were simply there looking for proof of Chen Shui-bian's alleged indiscretions, ones he was accused of by Lin Ruey-tu and which had already been shown to be groundless charges.

They can dish it out, but they sure can't take it. Can you say "irony"? I thought that you could.

"Bulletgate 2"?
Then there's "independent" (pan-blue) legislator Li Ao (alt. spelling: Lee Ao). Li once brandished a knife during a legislative session and told Minister of Defense Lee Jye that he should castrate himself. Furthermore, Li is the same guy who went to Beijing and said in a speech in September of this year there that he "hope[s] ... the Chinese Communist Party will continue to live 1,000 years to let the people enjoy its service."

Li recently received some envelopes bearing disgusting contents and cried to Taipei City mayor Ma Ying-jeou that he needed more police bodyguards. (See the previous post.)

One or two days later, Li reports -- all the while sporting a shit-eating grin -- that he has received a bullet in the mail and that he expects the police to capture the perpetrator just as quickly as they did when Premier Frank Hsieh and GIO Minister Pasuya Yao received threats via telephone.

You know what, Li Ao? So do I!

I, too, hope they find the perpetrator, because with your history of insane statements and accusations and without any real evidence that someone else (a pan-green supporter?!) did it, I can only conclude that you directed someone to mail it to you just so you'd have something to talk about on the news. (Sorry, I can't fand any links to print media on the "bullet" story yet, but I will update if I do.) [*See "UPDATE" at the bottom of this post.]

The artist formerly known as "the defender of the ROC flag," Ma Ying-jeou
At two international sporting events held recently in Taipei (the Asian Short Track Speed Skating championship and the Sixth Asian Youth Judo Championship), the ROC flag (which I consider to be the flag of an occupying power rather than the "real" Taiwan flag) was replaced by the Olympic flag of Chinese Taipei which, due to Chinese pressure, has been flown at the Olympics since 1984. (Being mostly white, it also looks way too much like a surrender flag.)

The problem this time is that while the events were held in Taiwan, not only was the ROC flag removed from the facility, but spectators were forbidden by the event organizers from even carrying such flags inside. The organizer of the latest even shed crocodile tears on TV news while blaming "the (central?) government" for the situation.

Good try, but the thing is that Frank Hsieh had made clear that there were no laws to prevent such free speech.

But when the flag of the enemy is raised, and the local one is lowered (at an event representing "peaceful competition"?), the lyrics of Alanis Morisette naturally start bouncing around in your brain.

ESWN "explains" why his readers "think" he has something against Taiwan
Michael Turton blogs about it so I don't have to, but I'll give you a summary of what ESWN said [barely a parody-phrase]:
All of the damned English-language media that tells the truth about anything is so freakin' fair to the DPP; otherwise, I'd translate the Liberty Times instead of the wormy Apple Daily (whose polls are based on questions asked of a couple hundred people). Besides,
Taiwan Robbed My Childhood." (But I know you'll come to your own conclusions anyway, so stop saying that!)
By the way, any readers who count on the China Post for their "news" are very unfortunate.

More BS-TV
At Saturday's Golden Bell Awards ceremony, TVBS anchor Jang Yi-i won an award for "One Foot, One Step: Discovering New Formosa." Going onstage to accept the award, Jang had this to say:
"It is important and great for the TVBS to win the award right now," she said," Our company always concentrates on programming about Taiwan's culture."
Dissembling bullshit! Most of their programming slams Taiwan while referring more and more frequently to China as nèi dì ("inland" or "interior"). 100% bullshit, that's BS-TV for ya.

GIO Minister Pasuya Yao was in the audience, so it doesn't look too much like he's "oppressing" anybody's free speech.

At least the Taiwan News is one of the few who "get it":
Whether the timing or style of the GIO's action was appropriate can be debated, but the fundamental issue is quite clear: TVBS is indisputably 100 percent owned by foreign capital, namely Hong Kong's Television Broadcasting (TVB).

This fact is clearly stated in TVB's 2004 Annual Report and was acknowledged by TVBS General Manager Lee Tao who said that TVBS is "entirely owned by Hong Kong capital" during his "2100" nightly talk show.
Why are so few people pointing this out? Are they purposely trying to be ironic?

All your former GIO Ministers are belong to us
Last Thursday, three former GIO Ministers made the easy-to-debate statement that none of them had ever tried to close down a TV station. What's so ironic about this is that during their tenures, the media was completely pan-blue owned and controlled and that those ministers were appointed by the pan-blues. Of course they didn't close down their own stations!

Some crybabies won't stop crying (wolf) no matter what you do.

But wait -- there's even more
Three men were released from police custody after being brought in on charges of making a "defamatory" video about Taoyuan County Magistrate Chu Li-luan (KMT). The video, said to be "aimed at lampooning" Chu, features "five characters gossip[ing] about Chu, his family and his administration...," and makes claims that "that Chu had extra-marital affairs and has staffed the county government with in-laws and cronies, [and that] Chu's father-in-law and former KMT lawmaker Kao Yu-jen has ruled the county from behind the scenes."

In order to "disprove" the part about "extra-marital affairs," Chu "hugged his wife" at a campaign rally. (Wow!)

Why isn't the United Daily News calling the producers of the video "heroic performance artists"?

Can you stand all that irony? I know I can't.

NOTE: Just in case you didn't notice, this is a post about irony, a topic which is often lost on people with whom you disagree. I don't advocate making shit up about people, even if they are evil. I don't advocate mailing people feces, cockroaches, or bullets. I do advocate backing your shit up when making criminal allegations against people. I do recommend doing research into topics with which you are unfamiliar. I don't expect you to believe everything you read in the pan-green media outlets. I don't even expect you to believe anything I say on this blog without following the links and researching the facts for yourself.

Oh, and please don't whine about the other guy being "unfair" when your own tactics turn against you.

UPDATE (11/20/2005): While I still haven't found anything about Li Ao's bullet in the English-language media, I did find this on the Chinese-language ETToday web site [translation, emphasis, bracketed comments mine]:
Independent lawmaker Li Ao receives threat in the mail! On the afternoon of November 11th, Li arrogantly answered reporters questions, saying that because he had previously received threatening mail, the Legislative Yuan had made special arrangements to handle his mail. Li Ao said that, on [November] 10th a letter addressed to him was suspected to have contained a bullet. Upon examination by relevant authorities, the suspicion was confirmed. Li Ao said, "I am very brave, not one bit afraid." Li Ao emphasized, "There are some who would send a [loose] cannon or perhaps even a hand grenade."

Li Ao frequently receives threatening bullets in the mail. According to Li's analysis, there are only three reasons for this: "The first is my personal relationships are not good; second, public security is not good; the third reason is that my personal relationships are not good, and public security is not good." [sic] As for receiving the latest bullet, Li Ao stressed, he certainly is not afraid at all, it only makes Brother Ma [Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou] look bad.

At the same time he also emphasized, "There are some who would send a [loose] cannon or perhaps even a hand grenade." [sic: this sentence is repeated from above almost word-for-word]

[At the bottom of the page is a photo of Li Ao between bites of shit. That photo bears the following caption]

Lawmaker Li has previously received packets of animal blood in threatening mail. Today he said, "This time it's really a bullet," and joked that, "There are some who would send a [loose] cannon or perhaps even a hand grenade." [sic: the third time this sentence has been used in such a short article] In addition, after receiving the most recent threat, Premier Frank Hsieh sent police officers to protect him.
NOTE: In that last sentence, Li Ao is once again backhandedly scolding Ma Ying-jeou (by saying he had to resort to Premier Hsieh, instead of Ma, for protection [from that which he is "not one bit afraid"]). Also, the "blood" which ETToday mentions turned out to actually be feces according to multiple reports. Also, the Chinese-language term "dà pào" which Li Ao used can mean either an actual cannon or "a blunt and outspoken person; one who overstates things forcefully," hence, my translation as "[loose] cannon" -- a term which suits my main suspect in this case, Li Ao.

More Chinese-language reports (mostly simplified Chinese pages on .cn domains) about Li Ao's latest bullet can be found here.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Topsy-turvy Taiwan

Pan-blue media outlets to one another: "I've got your back" *

In the wake of recent accusations by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators that Taiwan's TVBS is funded entirely with Chinese capital, there have been some rather unsettling developments.

TVBS has been slapped on the wrist with a fine of NT$1,000,000 (US$29,660.39 at the current exchange rate), or about one pubic hair for each person in China that wants to take over Taiwan. In other words, TVBS might as well say out loud, "What are you tryin' to do, tickle me (and my Chinese capital)?" [UPDATE LINK 1*]

A little bit of a "lesson" in "moral relativism"
Another not-so-funny thing that happened on the way to the "Chinese Bank" was that threats were made against the lives of both Government Information Office (GIO) Minister, Pasuya Yao, and Premier Frank Hsieh (both DPP) -- as well as their families -- multiple times in recent days, in fact, after KMT lawmakers Hung Hsiu-chu and Kuo Su-chun publicized Yao's and Hsieh's home and office telephone numbers as retribution for the charges made against TVBS. In both cases, suspects were apprehended.

In the case of the GIO minister, a retired school teacher (one of those who would be affected by the DPP's plan to cut the 18% interest rate benefits given to such people) admitted to having made "intimidat[ing]" calls, though not having threatened Yao's life. In TV reports I saw about this, he used the excuse that he was "inebriated" (Mandarin: zuì) and was angered after watching the news about TVBS. Being a "teacher," he wanted to "teach Yao a lesson" about "correct" ideas.

If he thinks being zuì ("drunk") lessens his zuì (homophone for "guilty") by even an iota, he's shamelessly wrong and needs a lesson in how the legal system works.

In Hsieh's case, the perpetrator was a poet who goes by the nom de plume of Tu Shih-san ("Thirteen" Tu) -- née Huang Jen-ho. Huang also admitted to having made such a call, also blaming it on drinking alcohol and on having had his emotions inflamed by watching... TVBS!

Here's what the China Post tells us about the case:
The 55-year-old poet, who published his anthology entitled "Hidden Stars" in November last year, said over the phone he sentenced the premier to death.

He said his non-existent organization "Taiwan Liberation Alliance," would carry out the execution in one week.

"Your family will be executed along with you," Huang was quoted as saying in the recorded phone call.
Bú kè qì
In both of the above cases, the people who had their lives threatened declined to press charges. I must ask again, what the fuck does the DPP think this will accomplish? Are they afraid of the pan-blues accusing them of ""White Terror" tactics? Are they not afraid that this will encourage others to do the same?

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
The pan-blue media -- for example, Tuesday's United Daily News -- is already making Huang out as a "hero."

Just take a look at some of what the UDN published about this on Tuesday [all in Big-5 Chinese encoding, translations of titles mine]:
* Unhappy with current gov't, Tu Shih-san threatens Premier Hsieh
* Art world says: "Threat"? No, it's "performance art"!
* Tu Shih-san: I was just drunk, not speaking from a political standpoint
* Sometimes, the pen has no power
Look! Another one claiming he did it because he was drunk. How unoriginal can you get?

PLA? TLA? Just a typo (via telephone)?
By the way, my wife tells me the meaning of Huang's "Taiwan Liberation Alliance," according to the original wording in Chinese, implies that he wants to "liberate Taiwan from itself" (sorta like the US is doing in Iraq -- "inciting" freedom?) and give it to China! (Think "People's Liberation Army" or "PLA.") While being an insane concept, it doesn't sound like something slipping easily off the tongue of a drunk. If evidence came up that he or other pan-blue supporters had previously used this phrase, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised.

This also sounds a lot like what happened after the "rice bomber" and "gas bomber" were caught. I know I said this before, but it bears repeating: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

DPP to their supporters: "Threats to our existence are like water off a duck's back" (?)
To me, this sure looks like the DPP is doing nothing to even discourage such nonsense. I wouldn't mind seeing the UDN claiming a DPP "dictatorship" and "White Terror" if the DPP were actually clamping down on pan-blue politicians, media, and followers, but it's absolutely untrue.

I'm not suggesting that the pan-greens make "blacklists" like the ones the KMT used during Taiwan's real "White Terror" period -- you know, the kind of list you could get placed on if your kid spoke Taiwanese in school and which could result in the police taking you away in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. I'm simply talking about applying the law equally [UPDATE LINK 2*] and actually prosecuting real crimes. Libel isn't good for society, especially when its goal is to destroy Taiwan and its people.

Please go back and read my "A LAUNDRY LIST OF PAN-BLUE VIOLENCE" if you have any doubts about how serious I am.

Too many "locals"
Monday, I also learned that Wang Pen-hu's shows, Taiwan Talking and Taiwan Ji Pó will be cancelled as of December 4, 2005. That's pretty depressing, as the pan-blues simply saturate the media with their constant bullshit.

The reason being given for the cancellation, according to Wang himself, is that his shows are too "local." That's right, they're simply "too damned Taiwanese." My ever-so-helpful wife says that according to Chinese-language media, claims are being made that this is the result of a "change in leadership" at Era Broadcasting and that they simply want to get rid of "political" shows and replace them with "entertainment."

Like what? Even more suicidal tendency-inducing Qing Dynasty soap operas? (read: "Chinese agitprop") More crap like the "183 Club" who think that speaking Taiwanese is "low class"? (read: "Chinese agitprop")

Balanced (minus) honesty (does not equal) good
As someone who supports democracy, I support a media that exposes corruption on all sides, as long as it tells the truth, makes a sincere effort to verify the facts before reporting, and makes prompt corrections of errors -- not necessarily "balanced" -- and I support it 100%.

On the other hand, TVBS, having been fined an amount which is equivalent to plucking a single hair from the hindquarters of an overweight panda -- or a single filament on the tailfeather of a duck, to continue that metaphor -- and still crying "unfair" is ridiculous, especially when someone who wants to help the people of Taiwan is simultaneously being shut down. Can you imagine what TVBS would be doing if the full force of democratic law had been applied?

Really, can you imagine what would ensue?

Unrelated news -- or is it?
Tuesday's Taiwan News has reported that more than 6,000 DVDs about the investigation of the election eve shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and V-P Annette Lu will be given away by the Prosecutor's Office in Tainan, the southern Taiwan city where the March 19, 2004 shooting by a pan-blue supporter occurred.

How could this possibly be related to the TVBS fiasco? Consider that the main "suspect," Chen Yi-hsiung once appeared on TVBS' "2100 Speaking Your Mind" (2100 Quan Min Kai Jiang) show and tried to attack pan-green supporters, you might be able to make the connection.

If you can't get a copy of the DVD, just go back and read some of what I wrote about "Bulletgate." If anybody does get their "lucky ducky" hands on a copy, I'd sure be interested in knowing how it compares with my examination of the subject.

* UPDATED 11/9/2005 ~11:45 PM, for clarity, phrasing, text coloring, punctuation, and the addition of links to Wednesday's news reports as well as the following details.

UPDATE LINK 1 gives details on TVBS' fine.

UPDATE LINK 2 is an editorial discussing equal application of the law and interpreting the "spirit" of the law.

UPDATE LINK 3 has KMT legislator Su Chi making shit up about the Taipei Times while the newspaper points readers to the truth which they can verify for themselves. "Poor, poor, pitiful, oppressed" pan-blue crybaby Su Chi (Lien Chan's chief international policy advisor) is caught lying through his fucking teeth.

Did I also neglect (to mention) Li Ao?
My wife also suggested that Li Ao's recent behavior displays more pan-blue hypocrisy, but I couldn't find any information on it last night, so I didn't include it in the original post. What follows are some of the details I dug up Wednesday evening.

Li Ao is an "independent" legislator (formerly of the New Party, and most definitely in the pan-blue end of the political spectrum) with strong unificationist leanings. In the past couple of days, he is said to have received a package containing something strange. He reported this to the Central Police Bureau which assigned two Taipei City police officers to "protect" him. Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (KMT) took away one of the officers, causing Li to complain that Ma was being "stingy."

Following the "logic" of this article in Tuesday's United Daily News, Li should view the package as "performance art," and as a letter to the editor printed in Wednesday's Liberty Times implies, he should just chill out about all of this.

My own reading of the letter reveals a more serious message: When a threat is treated by the media as "performance art" or as a "lesson," professionalism has been thrown out with the bathwater, and all hope is lost.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

TVBS = BS-TV: Part 2

I wonder what the people who say that Chen Shui-bian is oppressing TVBS have to say about this [Link to an English-language PDF file] from their puppetmasters at Hong Kong-based TVB:


Our channel operations in Taiwan continued to generate encouraging results. In line with our long term strategy to expand our earnings base, we are pleased to report that the group has increased its stake in Liann Yee Production Co. Ltd., in Taiwan. from 70% to 100% through a transaction announced on 4 February 2005. The transaction received the approval from shareholders of the Company at an extraordinary general meeting on 21 March 2005. With the consolidation of our interest in the Taiwan cable TV market, we look forward to further contribution from this exciting, though competitive, market.


Run Run Shaw
Executive Chairman

Hong Kong, 23 March 2005
To repeat two items for emphasis: 1) "increased its stake in Liann Yee [...] to 100%" and 2) "Our channel operations in Taiwan continued to generate encouraging results." Quack!

In addition to reinforcing the claims that TVBS is 100% foreign-owned, the document linked above also seems to have proven that the reason given for not paying taxes for the past three years is just another layer of BS. If I were running a business, I wouldn't consider "suffer[ing] from financial problems" to be an "encouraging" sign.

So, is TVBS 100% BS-TV, or what?

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