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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DPP ECFA referendum ad

With free English translation by Tim Maddog

Taiwan's DPP has a great ad to enlighten the public about the lies being told by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) about an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) which his government insists will be signed with China. See what Ma says about "sovereignty," and compare it to the direct words of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) about "complete unification" [sic -- the correct word is "annexation" (併吞)]. Cringe in horror as you hear Taiwan's Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) "explain" why he can't talk about the details of this ECFA.

Here it is with English titles (original version below):

0:35 YouTube video: "DPP ECFA referendum ad - with English titles"

Here's the original version in Mandarin:

0:35 YouTube video: "DPP ECFA referendum ad"

For a more complete description (in English) and more links, go to the YouTube pages for either video (links below each video).

A peck of pixeled peppers for Peter Piper to pick: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Formosan black bear cub needs a name

Cuter than your average bear

A six-month-old Formosan black bear cub which is new to the Taipei Zoo needs a name, and you need to make sure it'll be a good one. Need inspiration?

A six-month-old Formosan black bear cub
Please don't let them give me a stupid, pro-China name!
(Click above to see the original, unaltered Taipei Times image by Lin Hsiu-tsu)

The first step of the naming process will take place from June 13 - 28, 2009 at the zoo itself.

All readers of this blog who are in Taipei during that time and who can make it to the zoo should go there and suggest the name "Indy." Each visitor to the zoo gets one "nomination card," and only 200 cards will be distributed each day, so get there early! Participation will probably require some Chinese-language skills, so if you need help in that area, be sure to bring someone who can assist.

The second step of the process -- voting -- will take place from July 1 - 14 on the zoo's web site. (I'll update with a more specific URL as soon as I have one.)

The name will be selected on July 18, and there are prizes to be given out.

The best prize, of course, would be if a name like "Indy" is chosen for this beautiful little creature!

Let's see what we can do! (Suggest other possible names in the comments section of Taiwan Matters.)

Ursas major and minor: , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taiwan Matters' new blog team

Introducing the lineup

After doing most of the writing on Taiwan Matters on my own for some time now, and with blogaholic Michael Turton (The View from Taiwan) taking a breather from politics to work on his PhD and do other things, I've invited some more writers to contribute to TM and bring it back more in line with its origins as a group blog.

Cropped version of the movie poster for ''The Usual Suspects''
No group photos of either the original bunch or the new lineup exist, so substitute "The Usual Suspects," and use your imagination.

What the new bloggers and I have in common is the ideal of keeping Taiwan free and independent, and I'd like to introduce them to you, just in case you haven't encountered their writing before.
* A-gu (阿牛) is the American blogger in Kaohsiung who writes That's Impossible: Politics from Taiwan. He has worked as both a translator and a steel salesman and has particular interest in the Taiwanese legislature and linguistic issues.

* Άλισον is a Taiwanese (not a Chinese) based in the EU, doing part-time research, advocating human rights, social justice, promoting Taiwan's interests abroad, and blogging (Talk Taiwan 談台灣). She had 10 years of public service experience (thank goodness not with the ROC); her diligence had earned her an "Innovation & Excellence" award from her employer. Her interest is on fairness and different taxation systems.

* British blogger Arthur Dent, the political commentator on Letters from Taiwan, is a relative newcomer to the Taiwan blogsphere, but a longtime observer of Taiwan's politics. He is a perennial student currently completing his Masters degree at a Taiwanese public university. Arthur is an active citizen based in central Taiwan whose heart lies south of the Hsiluo River.

* Claudia Jean is the blogger from In Claudia Jean's Eyes who brings a lot to the Taiwan blogosphere that English-only readers would otherwise never hear about.

* I, Tim Maddog, am an American who has lived in Taiwan since before its first democratic presidential election. I have a knack for spotting lies, contradictions, and spin in the media and for noticing the nefarious propaganda that pollutes our daily lives. I'm married to a Taiwanese woman, and I've been taking to the streets since the "228 Hand-in-Hand" rally of 2000.
Welcome aboard, y'all! Let's get this party started!

Draft picks: ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Jerome Keating hits a home run

Don't expect AP to start telling the truth, though

In an editorial piece in yesterday's Taipei Times, author Jerome F. Keating provides readers with the facts that are always ignored when AP sells its mendacious stories about Taiwan.

Instead of laying all of those facts out here, however, I'm going to fast-forward to the swing that knocks it out of the park:
Taiwan has always been separate: before, during and after China's Civil War.

Isn't it time, then, to give up the canard that Taiwan and China split after the Civil War in 1949?

Taiwan is Taiwan; China is China.
Jerome provides a great deal of detail to back up his argument (go read the whole thing), whereas AP incessantly -- and with little variation -- repeats a carefully-crafted phrase which is a demonstrable lie -- or, as Jerome so eloquently puts it, a "canard."

You would think that the people at AP would know better. I bet they do.

In order to explain the sort of behavior they exhibit, I usually refer to this quote by Upton Sinclair:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
I'm pretty sure the quote is applicable to news wire agencies, too. If AP won't change (and don't hold your breath waiting), it's up to the readers to do so.

René Magritte's 1952 work, ''Ceci continue de ne pas être une pipe'' (This is still not a pipe)
René Magritte's 1952 work, "Ceci continue de ne pas être une pipe"
("This is still not a pipe")

RBIs: , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ma Ying-jeou "observes" with closed eyes

... and a closed mind

From the presidential web site, we can see the ignorance of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九):
President Ma's Observations on the 20th Anniversary of the June 4th Incident


[paragraph 3]
Great changes have taken place on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in the two decades since the June 4th Incident. Successful economic reforms in mainland China have brought tremendous improvements to the quality of life there. Over the past decade, the mainland authorities have paid greater attention to human rights than before. China has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In addition, it has published a series of white papers on human rights, and just this past April took an even more concrete step forward by formally adopting the National Human Rights Action Plan of China. The Action Plan has received mixed reviews from the international community, but the mere fact that they took this step is a clear signal that the mainland authorities are now willing to directly address the issue of human rights. This shows a robust openness and confidence on their part, the likes of which we have not seen from them in the past.
How "great" are these changes? In Taiwan (under Ma Ying-jeou), police who are responsible for serious brutality against non-violent protesters get promotions. In China, not even CNN gets to do unfettered reporting.

About that "incident," uh, well, it was a massacre, President Ma!

Those "successful" economic reforms have made the Chicoms rich enough to support North Korea, Burma, Sudan, and other such violent regimes.

That "mainland" of which Ma speaks is a different country -- one which has never ruled Taiwan.

Now, on this "human rights" issue, all I have to say is that Ma's head is so far up his ass on this one, he can see his own molars. The parents of the school children who died in the Sichuan earthquake know much more about this than Mr. Ma ever will.

Next, "sign[ing]," "ratif[ying]," and "publish[ing]" human rights-related documents means nothing. Ma's next sentence reveals that these steps are hardly "concrete," but "formally adopting" a "plan" means nothing in the face of actual abuses.

If any of that amounts to a "clear signal" for Ma Ying-jeou, I have to wonder how he can even tie his own jogging shoes.

As far as "robust openness and confidence" goes, I've never seen anything quite as ridiculous as the umbrella video from CNN

Here's the Chinese version of the above nonsense: 總統發表「六四事件」20週年感言.

The opposite of what the MSM tells you they are: , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Taiwan and China are two different nations

Stick this on your calendars

Declare to the world the truth-which-"cannot"-be told:

Taiwan and China are two different nations
(Click for full size: 1248 x 604 pixels, 1,331 kb)
Original image photographed at the 517 protest by Tim Maddog

Upcoming events: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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