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

Monday, August 28, 2006

Is Sisy Chen a liar, an amateurish thaumaturge, or both?

Let her own words and Occam's razor tell us

Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian is suing Little Bo Peep cosplayer Sisy Chen for allegations she made that the president is planning to use Taiwan's "Air Force One" to flee the country with his valuables during a desperation-reeking drive to oust him by the soulless Shih Ming-teh. He should have sued her immediately after the 2004 election when she lied about an imaginary "nurse" at Chimei Hospital who supposedly told her that the president's shooting the day before the election was "faked."

It's an ugly illusion
In Saturday's Taipei Times, Sisy "explained" her allegations -- some of which are demonstrably false, others which she apparently pulled them directly out of thin air. Here's how that paper relates Sisy's fussing:
"The president hasn't used Air Force One before. The last time he visited Palau, he used China Airlines. It's surely an issue of concern as to why he has chosen Air Force One this time," she said.

She said that she had listed four possible reasons why the president would choose Air Force One, of which transporting his valuables was only one.

"I said that the president may be planning to make surprise transit visits on the excuse of refueling Air Force One, avoiding any possible demonstrations, transporting his valuables and the need of being accompanied by people involved in the alleged embezzlement of state funds," she said.
Or maybe there's a teapot floating in space around the sun that was placed there by Louis Armstrong when he played his trumpet on the moon!*

There's a bunch of BS up her sleeves
The unlimited possiblities include many which are quite the opposite of what Sisy claims, so let's just take a look at the one about "avoiding any possible demonstrations" for the moment, shall we?

First, we already know that demonstrations will be occurring. Second, the plan for these demonstrations was announced on August 12, 2006.

Yet, the July 29, 2006 edition of the Taipei Times tells us that "Taiwan will hold its first ever summit with its six Pacific island allies in Palau in early September" and that " President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will be making his third trip to the Pacific in two years for the Sept. 4 summit." That simple fact makes Sisy's "possibility" an impossibility, which in turn makes her a liar.

Emptiest hat ever
But let's focus in further. Sisy says that the last time the president went to Palau he flew China Airlines and this his choice to fly Air Force One was "an issue of concern." I think Sisy's mental capacity may be "an issue of concern." As I just mentioned, the big difference in this trip is that President Chen will be attending the "first ever summit with [Taiwan's] six Pacific island allies." Could that possibly justify the use of Air Force One?

Sisy tried to downplay her lying by claiming that what she said was merely "reasonable conjecture." That would certainly hinge on a reasonable definition of "reasonable."

Ladies and gentlemen, Sisy Chen is no David Copperfield. All you have to do is pay attention and have the ability to remember back to her last outrageous illusion, and her smoke, mirrors, and Little Bo Peep costume will disappear before your very eyes. Ew!

PS: Sunday morning's papers brought us some contradictory information. The China Post asserts that "the time will be announced soon pending the exact timetable of activities to be adopted by President Chen," while the Taipei Times said that "Taipei police authorities have refused permission for Shih's sit-in to be held around the clock," despite earlier reports in which Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou "hinted that this application was approved because the country's public assembly law does not set any time limit on protest activities." TV reports on Sunday afternoon, however, showed that Shih Ming-teh's minions were still "rehearsing" for his "sit-in," and spokesperson Ho De-fen had told viewers watching TV on Saturday night that the "Nelson Mandela of his own imagination" wants to have showers. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?

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Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The simple truth: Taiwan is a nation

Dan Bloom reveals The New York Times' codified bias against Taiwan

While telling us about a NYT article on Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming, former Taipei Times writer Dan Bloom reveals some details in an op-ed today of how the international media goes about belittling Taiwan's status:
Most news outlets around the world continue to play the game of appeasing China by pretending that Taiwan is a mere island and not a nation, and they routinely send out news bulletins, editorials and multipage feature articles referring to this bustling nation as a mere "island." From the Associated Press to Reuters, from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, from BBC to Le Monde, Taiwan is just an island, and never a country.

When asked why, a high-placed editor in New York once told this writer: "We must remain neutral and not take sides."

But one must counter that argument with this question: Just how does referring to Taiwan as an island and not as a nation in print make an international news agency "neutral"?


According to the copy desk at the New York Times in Manhattan, Taiwan is not to be referred to as a country or a nation or even an island nation, except in a quoted comment by a person being interviewed. The Times' reporters themselves are commanded to refer to Taiwan in every instance as an island and never a country. It is a written rule of the newsroom, re-examined every few years, but never changed.
The context about Wang Chien-ming in which the above was contained was that NYT writer Tyler Kepner managed to say of Wang in his article, "At 26, he is a national hero in his home country, where he endorses computers and potato chips." In these times, small things can still mean a lot.

Thanks, Tyler! Thanks, Dan!

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Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

More dirt on Shih Ming-teh

Johnny Neihu returns to good form

In today's Taipei Times, Johnny Neihu digs deep and dishes up some dirt on Shih Ming-teh (施明德) which demonstrates that the stated "moral" reasons for his deep-blue-backed attempt to depose Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) are fake, fake, fake.

Johnny's legwork pays off, and he serves up these juicy academic-style quotes about Shih from the 2002 Academia Sinica oral history collection Special Collection on the Taiyuan Prison Incident (泰源監獄事件專輯) [COVER IMAGE] [MORE INFO], characterizing the speakers as the very people "you would most expect to line up behind [Shih]":
Here's one: former political prisoner Cheng Cheng-cheng (鄭正成):

"To this day, in Shih's eyes, everyone else is a drone and he's the queen bee, and that's the way it's always been. Everyone in prison who ran into Shih maintained a cordial relationship, but they wouldn't confide in him. Everyone knew he had a sweet tongue, he had a way with words, but what was in his heart and what he said were completely different things. ... In jail he once said that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) was an amateur, and that if he could get a hold of power he would out-Hitler Hitler himself." (pages 32-33).

Here's another one: former political prisoner Kao Chin-lang (高金郎):

"Over the course [of preparations for the breakout] Shih Ming-teh intimidated me several times, saying that he had to be the commander because the military rank of the other [prisoners] meant they could only be middle-ranking officers. Only he had the ability to be a general, and his orders were to be obeyed on all matters. If not, he threatened to inform on all of us." (pages 131-132).
The Taiyuan Incident happened in 1970. Shih's behavior, therefore, appears to be the continuation of a decades-long pattern of self-centeredness. Being that Shih's current goal coincides with that of the pan-blues, they are overjoyed by this.

Shih's concept of democracy? "Me, me, me!" Is he "deep green"? No way! Can he be trusted? Not on your fucking life!

Now, if Johnny could only show us exactly where the money for all those "thumbs down" ads is coming from. Could it possibly be the overjoyed pan-blues? Ya think?

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

China Post and the momentum of mendacity

Never letting sensibility get in the way of sensationalism

The Friday edition of the China Post, seen sprawled across a table at work, nearly made me laugh. Here's the lede to their headline story:
Movement to oust Chen gaining pace

A tumultuous political storm is brewing in Taiwan as former Chairman Shih Ming-teh of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will launch a nationwide campaign to unseat President Chen Shui-bian while other organizations are planning more violent measures if Chen continues to stay in power despite the scams allegedly involving the first family.

Shih and a group of former Chen supporters and representatives of other political stances will announce the establishment of an account soliciting donations of NT$100 from one million people at a gathering at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei on Saturday.
I think it's the imagination of the China Post's editors that's "gaining pace."

First, there's the meme of "former DPP chairman." I heard it applied yesterday (even by FTV) to both Shih and Hsu Hsin-liang. As factual as that may be, in both cases, these individuals are long since removed from any sort of "green" political identity. Shih was chairman ten years ago. Hsu, who got his political start in the KMT was chairman eight years ago. Just two years later, Hsu ran against Chen Shui-bian in the 2000 presidential election with a running mate from New Party on a platform of "reunification based on 'one country, two systems.'" Talk about a flip-flopper.

Even in 2002, Shih gained a mere 1.13% of the vote in the mayoral election in Kaohsiung when he ran as an "independent" against then-chairman of the DPP Frank Hsieh. Hsu got 0.63% of the vote in the 2000 presidential election. Does this really amount to "gaining pace," or is it merely wishful thinking on the part of the editors of the China Post?

Adopting the tactics of one's opponents
The idea of "voting" with one's money -- how very KMT of Shih! I wish I could ask him a few questions.

Are there any "rules" to this "campaign"? Could someone "vote" twice? Ten times? One hundred times? How can we know if this is the case, and would it matter to you? Does the fact that this "gathering" is being held at the 228 Peace Memorial Park somehow cancel out the undemocratic nature of the event? Do you really now identify more closely with those who jailed you for 25 years?

Just like with Fan Yun's "drop Chen" group, there's no way to vote "No" in Shih's campaign. Even if they collect more than one million "votes," it's not democracy -- it's motherfucking mendacity!

Nazi punks, fuck off!
Whoever is planning the "more violent measures" to protest someone who has only been convicted by a pro-blue media and not in a court of law has serious issues. If these people fall victim to their own violence (e.g., breaking a fingernail while getting arrested), they won't get any sympathy from me.

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