Saturday, June 17, 2006

Are They Stupid and Ignorant, or merely Dishonest?

Are They Stupid and Ignorant, or merely Dishonest?
Bevin Chu
June 16, 2006

In case you thought the rampant hysteria in last Friday's Taipei Times editorial, "Taiwan, Banana Republic of China?" was an exception, think again.

"Ma's brazen attack on Taiwan's democracy," by frequent Taipei Times contributor Cao Chang-qing, brims over with the same hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm.

Telling a simple truth requires only understatement, solemnity, and civility. That's because the truth pretty much speaks for itself.

Telling a lie, on the other hand, requires hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm. That's because a lie needs all the help it can get.

When a writer resorts to hyperbole, parody, and sarcasm, it means he knows he is telling a lie, but hopes to make the lie more convincing by enbellishing it as much help as possible. It means he hopes that at least some listeners will believe the lie merely because he has turned the volume control knob all the way up to high.

Read Cao's editorial yourself, and ask yourself which political camp is telling a simple truth, and which political camp is telling a convoluted lie.

Is it the Pan Blues, who are saying simply that a corrupt political leader ought to be replaced?

Or is it the Pan Greens, who are attempting to spin the replacement of an incorrigibly corrupt official -- a no brainer if there ever was one -- as a choice between "native Taiwanese" and "mainlander pigs," between "Taiwanese" and "Chinese," between "democratic Taiwan" and "Communist China."

"Recall Chen" rally in Changhua

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou at "Recall Chen" rally in Changhua

Published on TaipeiTimes

Ma's brazen attack on Taiwan's democracy
By Cao Chang-qing
Friday, Jun 16, 2006

Anyone without a deeper understanding of the political situation in Taiwan would be excused for thinking that President Chen Shui-bian must have violated a slew of laws to cause the pan-blue camp to call for his blood and launch a formal motion for his recall. Even Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou said, mouth dripping with venom, that unless Chen steps down, the people will rise up and topple him, giving him a nasty death. "Topple" and "die a nasty death" are phrases implying violence and coups d'etat that make us think of China's Cultural Revolution, a time when the air was filled with shouts of "topple" and people were driven to "nasty deaths" on a daily basis.

Comment: After regaling us with the above purple prose lead in, Cao Chang-qing then makes two assertions, both unadulterated nonsense, legally, logically, and historically.

First, Cao asserts that because the Pan Blue camp's recall motion does not require proof that Chen is guilty of criminal wrongdoing, that constitutes proof that Chen is innocent of criminal wrongdoing.

Cao: When Ma gave his reasons for supporting the recall motion, he inadvertently told us the truth. He said that the motion to recall Chen was a "political action" and that "a violation of the law is not necessary" to support such a move. In the midst of the barrage of pan-blue accusations against Chen, this was tantamount to telling the world that Chen had not violated the law and that he was not involved in the corruption scandals; that these accusations, in effect, were political fabrications without any foundation in fact. That is the only reason why Ma, a former minister of justice with a law degree, said that "a violation of the law is not necessary," since that washes Chen clean of all criminal suspicions.

Comment: Chen Shui-bian, his immediate family, his in laws, his cronies, and his fellow ruling DPP officials, have engaged in every form of corruption known to man, including patronage, bribery, extortion, influence peddling, fraud, embezzlement, and nepotism.

Taiwan independence apologists have demanded that those outraged by prima facie evidence of ruling DPP corruption must first prove corruption by means of the criminal justice system, and if they can't, they must shut up.

But as anyone familiar with the grim reality of Taiwan's "democracy" knows, ruling DPP malfeasance includes the hijacking of the criminal justice system, or at least its upper echelons. Put simply, the ruling DPP owns the criminal justice system.

Lower echelon public prosecutors and criminal investigators are at best, coerced into passively sitting on their hands and biting their tongues, or at worst, actively persecuting whistleblowers who are exposing ruling DPP corruption.

To ask victims of ruling DPP corruption to rely on the ruling DPP's criminal justice system to protect them from ruling DPP victimization, is to ask chickens to rely on the fox to guard the henhouse.

Secondly, Cao asserts that because the Pan Blue camp's recall motion cites Chen's unfitness as a political leader, and does not require proof that Chen is guilty of criminal wrongdoing, therefore the Pan Blue camp does not respect "democracy."

Cao: This statement is a shameless attack on Taiwan's democracy. In Western democracies, there is no way to recall a head of state based on political actions ... If it were possible to recall the head of state in two-party or multi-party systems for their political actions, political views and policy differences would turn democracy into a farce where parties would take turns recalling each other's head of state -- a preposterous, unimaginable situation. Such a preposterous and unimaginable situation is currently being played out in Taiwan. The biggest opposition party has held a demonstration to incite the public, and its chairman has even said that "a violation of the law is not necessary" to recall the president, his political actions are enough.

Comment: What precisely does Cao find so "preposterous" and "unimaginable" about recalling an elected official on political, rather than criiminal grounds?

An elected official is, theoretically speaking, a public servant. When a public servant is elected, he is hired. When a public servant is recalled, he is fired.

If electing someone on political grounds is the people's inalienable right, as self-styled "champions of democracy" so shrilly insist, then why isn't unelecting someone on political grounds, i.e., recalling them, also their inalienable right?

Proof of criminal wrongdoing is not necessary to fire an elected official, nor should it be. It is enough that his employer, i.e., the people, the taxpayers, the voters, are unhappy with his job performance.

As California voters know perfectly well, in the fall of 2003, sitting Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled and replaced with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, on political rather than criminal grounds, with no apology needed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, kiss during victory speech

As Wikipedia explains:

Backers of the recall effort cited Gray Davis's alleged "lack of leadership" combined with California's weakened and hurt economy. According to the circulated petition [Governor Davis's actions were a] "gross mismanagement of California Finances by overspending taxpayers' money, threatening public safety by cutting funds to local governments, failing to account for the exorbitant cost of the energy , and failing in general to deal with the state's major problems until they get to the crisis stage."

Gray Davis: "The people did decide that it's time for someone else to serve and I accept their judgment."

No proof of criminal wrongdoing on the part of Davis was necessary to initiate the recall, nor was any offered. Davis was recalled purely on the basis that in the subjective opinion of California voters, he wasn't doing a satisfactory job.

Are Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists truly unable to deduce for themselves what procedures are or are not reasonable under constitutionalism and the rule of law?

Are Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists truly unaware of what the prevailing norms are within "advanced democracies?"

Two possibilities present themselves.

One, Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists know the nonsense they have spouted about the Pan Blue sponsored recall effort is untrue, in which case they are merely dishonest.

Two, Cao and his fellow Taiwan independence apologists actually think the nonsense they have spouted about the Pan Blue sponsored recall effort is true, in which case they are both stupid and ignorant.


  1. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Chao Chien-ming's detention arouses envy in China
    Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006,Page 1

    The recent detention of President Chen Shui-bian's (???) son-in-law has caused a ripple in Chinese society, with many voices there expressing "envy" of Taiwan's democracy, a Japanese daily reported yesterday.

    An article in the Sankei Shimbun said the People's Daily News and the Xinhua news agency had reported the detention of Chao Chien-ming (???) on suspicion of insider stock trading with the aim of letting the Chinese people know how "corrupt" Taiwan's society is.

    However, the reports had the opposite effect.

    Many Chinese readers said they were "impressed" with the "true democracy" that they saw in reading about Chao's detention and about the recall motion initiated by pan-blue camp legislators to recall President Chen, the Sankei reported.

    Many messages about Taiwan's "enviable" democracy and China's "true decay" appeared on Chinese chat rooms on the Internet in the days after the reports.

    One Chinese citizen wrote that "in China, even the son-in-law of a village leader would not be arrested if he were to commit the same crime as Chao did."

    "None of the children of high-ranking officials have been detained for insider trading or other kinds of corruption," he wrote.

    The Sankei report also said that Beijing University had planned to invite Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (??), who made the initial allegations about Chao, to give a speech to "help ignite an anti-corruption fire in China."

    Chinese authorities, however, later decided not to allow Chiu to visit for fear that such a speech would have an "undesirable" impact on Chinese society, Sankei reported.

    Chiu, who continues to appear on TV talk shows at home to make allegations against members of the first family, noted that he doesn't think that Chen would use his powers to deprive him of his freedom of speech.

    Chiu's remarks have been spread online by Chinese Internet surfers, the Sankei reported.

  2. "sean su" doesn't actually believe his own high minded posturing. He is merely applying it selectively.

    Non selective application of these high moral standards would force "sean su" to condemn the Taiwan independence movement for its threats to murder Chiu Yi and Ma Ying-jeou.

    Pan Green hypocrites (a redundancy if there ever was one) have vowed to assassinate KMT legislator Chiu Yi for blowing the whistle on DPP corruption and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou for attempting to recall Chen Shui-bian.

    Just like the Nazis in the 1930s, who murdered journalists who criticized the Nazi Party.

    Former GIO Director Yao Wen-chi and DPP legislative whip Lai Ching-teh have demanded that the TVBS cable television network be shut down for the crime of exposing DPP corruption.

    Just like the Communists, who behave exactly the same way as the DPP and TSU when confronted by political dissent.

    Re: democracy as a "solution" to the problems mentioned above? Don't make me laugh. Democracy, like Communism, is not the solution to anything, it's the problem!

    Hopefully the mainland region of China will be spared the mistake of adopting democracy after seeing its abysmal failure in the Taiwan region of China.

    Mainland China already made one monumental blunder when it adopted Communism. God forbid that it make a second one by adopting democracy.

    Communism and democracy are hardly our only choices.

    Other, less well known systems have also been tried. At least one -- "market anarchism" -- has proven vastly superior.

    Readers who have open minds, who don't assume that there are only two choices open to mankind, are urged to read my article "Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried," in which I discuss intelligent alternatives to both Communism and democracy.

    The article is actually an ongoing series. So far three parts have been completed. The URL for Part III is:

  3. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Hey Bevin. Long-time reader here. Been reading your articles since spring of 2000. I was wondering where I could purchase an English-language edition of Taiwan at the Crossroads: An Expose on Taiwan's New Dictatorship?

  4. Dear Will,

    Thanks for reading the China Desk.

    Let me check and see who is in charge of selling it.



    Bevin Chu,

    You may find the above book to be useful. It describes how a Federation was usurped into a Nation State as despots perverted the concept of democracy from individual sovereignty into mob rule.

    Democracy was once synonymous with individual anarchism. It is now stark naked mob rule despotism.

    Federalism was once a stop gap toward democracy i.e. individual anarchism. Federalism was once a voluntary association of States.

    The American Federalists, like Alexander Hamilton, were not Federalists, as they publicly proclaimed, instead, they were Corporate Nationalists, despots, hiding behind Federalism.

    Behind closed doors the veil was unnecessary.

    It’s the deed; not the word.

    More explanation here:


    And here:

  6. Dear Joe,

    Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

    Authentic champions of individual rights and individual liberty are always welcome to post any feelings or thoughts they may have at the China Desk weblog.

    Comments from fellow anti-colonialists, anti-imperialists, anti-interventionists will automatically be approved for publication.

    Comments from advocates of neocolonialism, particularly Taiwan "independence," which is nothing more than the poisonous legacy of Japanese colonialism, will be approved only if the advocates of Taiwan "independence" refrain from attempts to "troll" this blog and instead offer challenging counterarguments.

    Otherwise, what's the point?


  7. Dear Will,

    I believe the China Foundation has the book for sale.

    Their homepage is:

    Their email address is:

    Let me know if you have any problems getting a copy from them.