Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Natives? Yes! Nativization? No!

Natives? Yes! Nativization? No!
Bevin Chu
December 26, 2006

The term
"ben tu hua" 本土化 , as used on Taiwan today, denotes "nativization" or "nativized," depending upon its context.

But that is merely its surface meaning.

KMT party leaders must have the guts to categorically reject ben tu hua for what it is, self-hating anti-Chinese racism.

Some 藍皮綠骨 "blue skinned, green boned" opportunists have been demanding that KMT leaders follow in the Pan Green camp's ben tu hua footsteps. Their myopia has led them to ignore a number of simple realities.

To wit:

If a democratic majority on Taiwan wanted the KMT to go down the Pan Green ben tu path, why have wave upon wave of protesters representing the Pan Blue majority taken to the the streets, waving ROC flags, wearing brightly colored Chinese Red shirts, angrily demanding that Pan Blue leaders topple the ben tu hua DPP government?

If a democratic majority on Taiwan wanted the KMT to go down the Pan Green ben tu path, why do scientific polls conducted in 2005 indicate that Lien Chan, high profile champion of Chinese reunification, was the second most popular political figure on the island, even though he was retired and out of the picture?

If a democratic majority on Taiwan wanted the KMT to go down the Pan Green ben tu hua path, why are the ben tu hua DPP and the even more ben tu hua TSU on the brink of dissolution, while the non ben tu hua KMT gaining popular support and gathering political momentum, despite its often exasperating ineptitude?

Red Shirt Army protesters, comprised overwhelmingly of Pan Blue voters, demand that the government honor traditional Chinese values of 禮儀廉恥 Propriety, Honor, Integrity, Conscience

Could it be that a democratic majority of voters on Taiwan don't want the KMT to go down the Pan Green ben tu path?

Could it be that a democratic majority of voters on Taiwan want the KMT to go down a diametrically opposite path, the Deep Blue 大中國主義 "Greater China" path?

Before we go any further, let's make one point perfectly clear.

The term ben tu hua, as used on Taiwan today, does not mean voting for political candidates who were born on Taiwan. The term ben tu hua, as used on Taiwan today, does not mean increasing the number of government officials who were born on Taiwan.

Voting for political candidates who were born on Taiwan is perfectly fine. Increasing the number of government officials who were born on Taiwan is perfectly fine.

I myself have worked on the election campaigns of New Party candidates such as ROC legislator Lai Shi-bao and Taipei City councilman Lee Ching-yuan, both of whom were born on Taiwan and who would normally be referred to as "native Taiwanese."

No, the term ben tu hua means something else entirely.

The term ben tu hua, i.e., nativization or localization, as used on Taiwan today, means the promotion of a self-hating "Taiwanese, not Chinese" ethnic consciousness, as groundwork for the founding of an anti-Chinese puppet regime and forward base to "contain" the Chinese motherland.

The term ben tu hua or nativization is not an ordinary word in either the Chinese or English language.

The term ben tu hua is a code word.

As the Random House Unabridged Dictionary explains:

code word
1. code name.
2. a euphemistic or politically acceptable catchword or phrase used instead of a blunter or less acceptable term: The official report said the diplomats had a “frank and serious discussion”—code words for “angry argument.”

As the American Heritage Dictionary explains:

code word
1. A secret word or phrase used as a code name or password.
2. A euphemism: “The Democrats' ‘populism’ is a code word for bigger farm subsidies and protectionism” (New Republic).

Obviously "euphemism," the second definition from both reference sources, is the one relevant to our discussion.

The term ben tu hua, as used on Taiwan today, has two meanings.

The first meaning, the surface meaning, is a sugar coating.

The second meaning, the underlying meaning, is the poison pill within.

The surface meaning, the sugar coating, legitimizes ben tu hua among politically unsophisticated voters for whom the nuances of Orwellian Newspeak go right over their heads.

Is it wrong to vote for political candidates who were born on Taiwan? Of course not.

Is it wrong to increase the number of government officials who were born on Taiwan? Of course not.

Is ben tu hua a righteous and worthy goal? Of course not.

Why not?

Because ben tu hua is a code word. Because ben tu hua is a euphemism. Because the real meaning of ben tu hua has nothing to do with voting for political candidates who were born on Taiwan or increasing the number of government officials who were born on Taiwan.

The real meaning of ben tu hua, the underlying meaning, the poison pill within, has to do with indoctrinating the Chinese people on Taiwan with a self-hating "Taiwanese, not Chinese" ethnic consciousness, in preparation for eventual political secession.

Pan Blue leaders cannot afford to be so naive as to presume that the term ben tu hua means what it appears to mean.

If Pan Blue leaders insist on being that naive, that gullible, that literal minded,
they will find themselves reduced to puppets dangling at the end of Pan Green strings.

Pan Blue leaders, whenever they go up against Pan Green propagandists, must expose ben tu hua for what it is, hatred of their mainland compatriots' Chinese-ness, and what's even sadder, hatred of the Pan Green propagandists' own Chinese-ness.

Pan Green propagandists have attempted to force Pan Blue leaders to kneel before the Pan Green camp's ben tu hua idol.

Due to endemic Pan Blue self-doubt, Pan Green propagandists have enjoyed considerably more success than they deserve.

This must not go on. This must change.

Instead of retreating before Pan Green Political Correctness, Pan Blue leaders must counterattack.

The KMT must realize it will never be as ben tu hua as any of the Pan Green parties.

Even more importantly, the KMT must realize that ben tu hua is not something the KMT should strive for in the first place.

Despite appearances, the DPP's ben tu hua plank in its political platform is not an asset, it is an albatross around the DPP's neck.

Not only is ben tu hua morally contemptible, in an increasingly globalized economy, it is economically suicidal.

Any short term political gain the KMT might derive from adopting the DPP's ben tu hua policy would be nullified by the fact that ben tu hua has no place in the emerging global economy.

Pan Blue leaders need to see past any panicky urge to outdo the Pan Green camp in pandering to ben tu hua mob sentiment.

Pan Blue leaders shouldn't even try to turn themselves into watered-down versions of ben tu hua Pan Green demagogues.

Pan Blue leaders need to be what their political label suggests, unapologetic champions of Sun Yat-sen's goal of national unity in the short term, and
the Brotherhood of Man 天下為公 in the long term..

Pan Blue leaders don't need to hem and haw when grilled, "Are you Taiwanese or Chinese?"

Pan Blue leaders need to snap back without missing a beat, "What kind of a stupid question is that? Taiwanese are Chinese!"

Pan Blue leaders need to affirm their own Pan Blue ideals.
They need to turn Pan Blue ideals into the Conventional Wisdom on Taiwan. They need to compel Pan Green Quislings to dance to the Pan Blue tune.

Natives? Yes! Nativization? No!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men
Bevin Chu
December 24, 2006

Hang Lu : Laozi on an Ox
Ming dynasty, 16th century
Hanging Scroll; ink on paper
101.5 x 55.3 cm
National Palace Museum, Taipei, China

If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations
If there is to be peace in the nations, there
must be peace in the cities
If there is to be peace in the cities,
there must be peace between neighbors
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
there must be peace in the home
If there is to be peace in the home,
there must be peace in the heart
-- Laozi, China's greatest sage, and the world's first anarchist

Individual Liberty vs. Tribal Solidarity

Individual Liberty vs. Tribal Solidarity
Bevin Chu
January 24, 2006

The following letter to the editor, written by one Jonathan Hwang, self-described juris doctor candidate at Harvard Law School, illustrates what's wrong with the Taiwan independence movement. Taiwan independence True Believers refuse to distinguish between values that are primary and fundamental, and values that are secondary and derivative.

But "Taiwanese, not Chinese" Taiwan independence True Believers and white supremacist Taiwan independence fellow travelers have been busy scribbling away on the Net for years. Why have I zeroed in on Mr. Hwang?

Because in a sophomoric effort to seize the moral high ground for the Taiwan independence movement, Mr. Hwang inadvertently let the cat out of the bag, and provided us with a glimpse of the morally indefensible core value of the Taiwan independence movement.

What is the core value of the Taiwan independence movement?

No, it's not freedom.

No, it's not democracy, that False Idol despised by America's Founders yet blindly worshiped by the political mainstream today.

No, it's not human rights.

The core value of the Taiwan independence movement is none of these things. The core value of the Taiwan independence movement is its unregenerate identity politics.

The Taiwan independence movement's central concern has never been values, such as "freedom, democracy, human rights" or any other abstract value one cares to name. The Taiwan independence movement's central concern has always been identity, i.e., tribal affiliation, ethnic origin, racial background.

The overarching goal of the Taiwan independence movement has never been to unite human beings by discovering shared values. The underlying goal of the Taiwan independence movement has always been to divide human beings by inventing artificial differences.

Specifically, the Taiwan independence movement's goal is:

1. The concoction of an ahistorical "Taiwanese, not Chinese" ethnic identity.

2. The indoctrination of the Chinese people on Taiwan with a "Taiwanese, not Chinese" ethnic consciousness.

3. The founding of a separate "Taiwanese, not Chinese" nation state predicated on this "Taiwanese, not Chinese" ethnic consciousness.

Taiwan independence spin controllers who claim that what really concerns them is "freedom, democracy, and human rights" rather than tribal identity, are akin to beauty contestants who insist that what really concerns them is "world peace" rather than personal ambition.

This hypocrisy was deftly satirized in Sandra Bullock's hilarious comedy, Miss Congeniality.

Miss Congeniality (2000, directed by Donald Petrie, written by Marc Lawrence , Katie Ford & Caryn Lucas)

Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
Gracie Hart: That would be... harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
[crowd is silent]
Gracie Hart: And world peace!
[crowd cheers ecstatically]

Miss Congeniality: "And world peace!"

Why is the Taiwan independence movement obsessed with the invention of an artificial "Taiwanese, not Chinese" ethnic identity?

That is a subject unto itself.

For my take on the psychology of the Taiwan independence movement, I'm sorely tempted to say "psychopathology," see:
Taiwan Independence and the Stockholm Syndrome

Meanwhile, let's see what our budding attorney from Harvard has to say.

Forgetting Taiwan is forgetting our ideals
By Jonathan Hwang
Published on Taipei Times
Friday, Dec 22, 2006

Politics and propaganda often have the effect of obscuring why we care about things. Often we forget or cannot see what really matters to us.

Comment: No kidding, as Mr. Hwang is about to demonstrate for us through his own myopic folly.

Hwang: Whether the Taiwanese know it or not, their defiance of China's ambition to "liberate" the island symbolizes the general struggle for a world where people are free from oppression.

Comment: "The Taiwanese?" "China's ambition?"

Wow. That was quick. Mr. Hwang certainly didn't waste any time. He committed his first logical fallacy right off the starting block, specifically, the Fallacy of the Ambiguous Collective.

The Fallacy of the Ambiguous Collective, for the record, involves "using a collective term without any meaningful delimitation of the elements it subsumes."

As the online Handbook of Logical Fallacies explains:

"We" "you" "they" "the people" "the system" and "as a whole" are the most widely used examples. This fallacy is especially widespread and devastating in the realm of political discussion, where its use renders impossible the task of discriminating among distinctively different groups of people.

Just who are "The Taiwanese" Hwang is referring to?

Are "The Taiwanese" the democratic majority of Republic of China citizens who consistently vote for political parties that advocate Chinese reunification?

Are "The Taiwanese" the democratic majority of Republic of China citizens whom Taipei Times editorials periodically denounce as "tai jian" (traitors to Taiwan)?

Hwang: At the most fundamental level, the conflict between China and Taiwan is just a conflict between two groups of people.

Comment: Hwang says "two groups of people." Make a note of that.

Hwang: Forget the convoluted history and political parties for a minute. Forget the tautological cultural and ethnic theories for and against unification or independence just for a second. The story of China and Taiwan is a story about what humans value in a society and how humans resolve their differences.

Comment: I couldn't agree more. We as human beings should give the highest priority to "what humans value in a society and how humans resolve their differences."

But hold on a minute. Let's make sure we understand what Hwang means when he says "humans." Does he mean individual "humans," or does he mean groups of "humans?"

Unfortunately, just like Humpty Dumpty, when our budding young lawyer uses a word, it means just what he chooses it to mean.

Hwang: From this untangled perspective, people should ask themselves, what do we as humans -- not Taiwanese or Chinese, just humans -- value? Do we particularly value joining another's society or forming our own independent society? Both of these choices are neutral absent qualifications on what these societies are like.

Comment: Did you get that? "what do we as humans -- not Taiwanese or Chinese, just humans -- value?"

The clear implication is that "Humans" denotes individual human beings, not collectives.

I'm in even closer agreement with this statement.

But wait. Didn't Hwang just say that at the most fundamental level, the conflict is between "two groups of people?" Between "The Taiwanese" and "The Chinese?"

So which is it?

Is it "humans -- not Taiwanese or Chinese, just humans?" or is it "a conflict between two groups of people?"

If you're confused, you're not alone. If you're confused, don't blame yourself. If you're confused, it's because Hwang flip-flops back and forth between the collective and the individual.

Understanding Hwang's deliberate obfuscation is the key to understanding Taiwan independence movement hypocrisy and deceit.

For a revealing insight into the Taiwan independence movement's flagrant double standards when it comes to the right of secession, see:
Independence for Me, but not for Thee

Hwang: Here, we realize what we truly value as humans: freedom. That is the freedom to choose how we live and attain happiness in peace with fellow humans.

The struggle for freedom is being played out between China and Taiwan.

In the end, it doesn't matter if Taiwan is independent or unified with China. What matters is how the outcome is reached. Is unification imposed on the people of Taiwan through threats of violence? Or is unification decided by the freewill of the Taiwanese?

Comment: Finally. Now we know what Hwang means when he says "humans."

We know because Hwang has reverted to collectivist Taiwan independence terminology, to "the people of Taiwan" and "the Taiwanese."

Hwang means what Taiwan independence apologists always mean when they talk about "human beings."

He means groups of "humans." He means collectives of "humans." He means tribes of "humans." He means angelic "Taiwanese, not Chinese humans" vs. demonic "Chinese, not Taiwanese humans." He means "zheng gang de tai wan ren" (authentic Taiwanese) vs. "zhong guo zhu" (Chinese pigs).

After insincere nods to humanism and individualism, Hwang abruptly reverts to form, and reasserts the Taiwan independence movement's core value -- collective identity.

When Taiwan independence apologists such as Hwang say "humans," they want the international community to hear "individual human beings." They want the international community to hear "citizens of the global village." They want the international community to hear choruses of "We are the world! We are the children!"

In short, they want to use high-minded humanism as window dressing for their narrow -minded "Taiwanese, not Chinese" petty tribalism.

They want to use humanism to smuggle their Taiwanese version of racist Apartheid past the court of world opinion, the way drug smugglers use ground coffee to smuggle heroin past customs officials.

Hwang: In humanity's shared appreciation for individual freedom, we must respect each other's exercise and enjoyment of it. This means the people of China must respect the idea of a politically independent Taiwan, if an independent country is what the people of Taiwan desire.

Comment: Notice Hwang's wording, "the people of China" and "the people of Taiwan."

What happened to Hwang's concern for "humanity's shared appreciation for individual freedom" and "respect [for] each other's exercise and enjoyment of it?"

Hwang reminds me of nothing so much as a clumsy amateur who fumbles while attempting to perform a magic trick, and instead winds up revealing how it's done.

Hwang: The Chinese are free to disagree with such an outcome, but they must respect it or risk violating the freedom of the Taiwanese to choose their destiny.

Comment: "The Chinese" are free to disagree? "The Taiwanese" are free to choose "their destiny?"

How are "The Chinese" free to disagree?

Hasn't Hwang already predefined 1.3 billion human beings as "the Chinese" and predefined another 23 million human beings as "the Taiwanese," without bothering to consult them?

How are "The Taiwanese" free to choose their destiny?

Hasn't Hwang already chosen their destiny for them? Hasn't Hwang already decided that their destiny is to be "Taiwanese, not Chinese," again without bothering to consult them?

Hwang: At the heart of it all, Taiwan should matter because freedom matters -- not because unification or independence per se matters. Humanity has seen enough of authoritarianism, where oppressive governments choke the free spirit of humanity.

Let's not forget just how much we value freedom. This is why Taiwan matters and why free countries and free peoples should not turn a blind eye towards China's aggression.

Comment: Hwang insists that "Taiwan should matter." He then repeats himself, saying "This is why Taiwan matters."

Gone is the hypocritical lip service to "humans" i.e., individuals, choosing their own destiny.

Back is the unilateral, non-negotiable demand for "Taiwanese, not Chinese" tribal solidarity.

Back is the demand for an ethnic Apartheid, "tai wan ben tu" (Taiwanese nativist) political entity.

As you can see, dealing with Taiwan independence duplicity can be a frustrating ordeal.

In case you thought I derived any pleasure from demolishing Mr. Hwang's inept sophistry, think again.

I am not triumphant. I am not smug. On this Christmas Eve, 2006, I am weary, beyond words.

Like millions of other members of the Pan Blue Camp/Red Shirt Army on Taiwan, I am weary of the Quixotic, unwinnable war against democracy, that congenitally defective political system so deeply detested by America's Founders, that encourages ruthless demagogues to seize political office by promoting tribal solidarity and subverting individual liberty.

Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried

Friday, December 08, 2006

Huang Chi-hsien, the Sophie Scholl of Taiwan

Huang Chi-hsien, the Sophie Scholl of Taiwan
Bevin Chu
January 07, 2006

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history

-- George Bernard Shaw

What experience and history teach is ... that people and governments never have learned anything from history
-- Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it
-- George Santayana

In any given age, individuals able to learn from history are vanishingly rare. That's why, as Karl Marx observed, history repeats itself.

Actually, what Marx said was "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

One rare individual with the ability to learn from history, is Huang Chi-hsien, native Taiwanese liberal reformer, television commentator, noted author of Taiwan at the Crossroads: An Expose of Taiwan's New Dictatorship, and numerous other books.

Huang Chi-hsien, aka Joyce C. Huang, is
an intellectual worthy of the name, a courageous young woman whom I consider "the Sophie Scholl of Taiwan."

2006: Huang Chi-hsien, the conscience of fascist Taiwan

1943: Sophie Scholl, the conscience of Nazi Germany

Julia Jentsch as Sophie Scholl in the Oscar nominated film, Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (2005, directed by Marc Rothemund, written by Fred Breinersdorfer)

Sophie Scholl, being arrested by Nazi authorities

According to Wikipedia, Sophia Magdalena Scholl (1921-1943) was a key figure in the White Rose non-violent resistance movement in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of treason and executed by guillotine. She is celebrated as one of the few Germans who dared to oppose the Third Reich during the Second World War.

Scholl's father was the mayor of Forchtenberg am Kocher. Scholl was an integral part of German society's mainstream. She had no intrinsic need to defy the society into which she was born.

Nazi race theorists would describe someone with Sophie Scholl's background as "Aryan," as "authentic" German, as a member of "die Herrenrasse" or "das Herrenvolk," i.e., "the master race."

To be considered authentic German under the Third Reich, to qualify for a position in the SS for example, one had to document one's German background back to 1750, seven to nine generations.

Joyce Huang is Taiwanese, ninth generation Hoklo Taiwanese. Hoklo Taiwanese are Han Chinese who migrated to the offshore Chinese island of Taiwan from Fujian over the past three centuries.

aiwan independence fascists routinely refer to someone with Huang's background as "zheng gang de tai wan ren," i.e., "authentic" Taiwanese, or "ben tu tai wan ren" i.e., "native" Taiwanese).

Like Scholl before her, Huang was a member in good standing of her society's dominant ethnic majority. Huang was a member of the post-Chiang, ruling Hoklo majority.

Huang, needless to say, would never refer to herself in such terms. Huang would never even think of herself in such terms.

By not thinking of herself in such atavistic, tribalist, racist terms; by thinking of herself as a member of the human race first, as a member of a proud civilization next, and as a resident of a geographical region third; Huang turned herself into a pariah with her own Deep Green parents and siblings.

Huang dropped out of high school and struggled to make her own way. She drove a cab, worked on a factory assembly line, bussed dishes in a restaurant,
even pulled weeds on highway center dividers for 600NT (US$20) a day. Eventually, after enormous hardship, she earned enough to put herself through college in the US and the UK, earning herself an MBA.

Why did she do it? Why not leave well enough alone? Hell, why not exploit the enormous personal advantages that her Politically Correct, nay, Ethnically Correct background could easily have provided her, the way so many ambitious Yuppies in the Pan Green camp have during the Lee and Chen dynasties? .

Joyce Huang defied her society, and made life enormously difficult for herself, because she, like Sophie Scholl before her, has a voice inside her that will not permit her to tolerate the intolerable.

As Scholl wrote in her final pamphlet before she was arrested and executed:

Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure!

Every individual human being has a claim to a useful and just state, which secures the freedom of the individual as well as the good of the state.

Disassociate yourself from National Socialist gangsterism. Prove by your deeds that you think otherwise. An end in terror is preferable to a terror without end. Hitler cannot win the war, he can only prolong it.

We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!

Like Scholl before her, Huang is acutely aware of her society's historical context. Like Scholl before her, Huang is disturbed by the direction her society has taken. Like Scholl before her, Huang refuses to remain silent, insists on being her society's bad conscience, and will not leave those who impose or abet tyranny in peace.

Memorial to the White Rose, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich

Just part of author Huang Chi-hsien's prolific output: Is This Any Way to Elect a President? Taiwan's New Dictatorship. Taiwan at the Crossroads. Emptying Taiwan's Coffers, A Taiwanese like Me

The English edition of Taiwan at the Crossroads, translation by Bevin Chu

Taiwan Independence True Believers: Forever Children

To be ignorant of history is to remain forever a child
-- Cicero

Wisdom comes by disillusionment
-- George Santayana

Most people have only the foggiest idea of the historical context in which they live. Who are they? Where did they come from? Where are they headed? They will never know. What's worse, they don't want to know.

Establishment intellectuals will assume I'm talking about the proverbial "man in the street." I'm not. I'm talking about them.

Establishment intellectuals are apologists for prevailing political paradigms, incapable of thinking for themselves. These "court intellectuals" have never had an original thought in their lives, and never will.

Court intellectuals cast themselves as "free thinkers." They are nothing of the sort. Court intellectuals, far from being free thinkers, are "paid thinkers." Green is the color of Pan Green court intellectuals on Taiwan, in more ways than one.

This is a hazardous state of affairs, because as Yogi Berra noted, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

I make this observation, not with pride, because I consider myself a rare individual blessed with the capacity for independent and original thought.

I make this observation with frustration, because elective dictatorships (most people refer to them as democracies) trample over the rights and liberties of defenseless citizens, even as they pat themselves on the back for "upholding freedom and human rights."

I make this observation with dread, because nominally enlightened societies have learned nothing from history, and are mindlessly repeating the mistakes of the past.

Court intellectuals on Taiwan in particular, have learned nothing from the history of Nazi Germany and mainland China under Mao.

These court intellectuals absorb the politically correct conventional wisdom from the society around them, dutifully recite it back to the powers that be, and are generously rewarded out of the public coffers for validating the corrupt status quo.

Had they lived in Germany, they would be mouthpieces for Nazism. Because they live on Taiwan, they are mouthpieces for Taiwan independence fascism.

These court intellectuals include Deep Green members of the Taiwan independence nomenklatura such as Ching Heng-wei, Hsiao Bikim, Lee Hung-hsi, Lee Yuan-tse, and Tsai Ying-wen.

Ching Heng-wei, the Lord Haw-Haw of Taiwanese Independence Fascism

Hsiao Bikim, Pan Green Poster Child

Lee Hung-hsi, Chen Shui-bian's intellectual patriarch -- like father, like son

Lee Yuan-tse, Nobel for Sale, to Highest Bidder

Tsai Ying-wen, the Tokyo Rose of Taiwan Independence Fascism

Strange Fish

The term "strange fish" is slang for someone who is aware of culture. It comes from the proverb, "It is a strange fish that knows the existence of water." We live within our culture, which we also carry about with us. To be a fish is to be unaware of water. Perhaps the fish can move through different kinds of water, such as going from a river to the ocean, but it is still water. A fish that jumps out of water ... experiences non water briefly. For us to be aware of culture ... we need to remove ourselves from culture.

Joyce Huang is not one of these court intellectuals. Joyce Huang is the farthest thing from these court intellectuals. Joyce Huang is the boy in Hans Christian Anderson's tale who cried "The emperor has no clothes!" Joyce Huang is a "strange fish."

In case you're wondering, that's a
compliment, the highest compliment I can give. Some of my best friends are strange fish. I pride myself on being a very strange fish.

Court intellectuals are fish who don't know about the existence of water. Joyce Huang knows about water. Joyce Huang knows only too well how poisoned Taiwan's political waters are.

Like Sophie Scholl, who knew that the people of Germany were blindly marching down a dark path toward oblivion, Joyce Huang knows that Taiwan is marching down the same path, toward its own "ben tu" (nativist) brand of oblivion.

Fortunately Marx was right. Not about economics, but about history. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
Because history is repeating itself as farce, Huang is still alive and well.

If history were repeating itself as tragedy, the courageous Huang would already have suffered the same fate as Sophie Scholl, who was beheaded on the guillotine.

Unfortunately, history repeating itself as farce is tragic enough.

The following news story broke immediately after the history of the 2004 Republic of China Presidential Election repeated itself in the 2006 Kaohsiung Mayoral Election:

A family of six loses five members to a same river
By George Liao
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2006-12-11 02:51 PM

A family of six in Taipei City has lost five of its members to suicide over the past four months after the mother and two older sons jumped from the Chen Mei Bridge into the Keelung River early Sunday morning.

That compounded a family tragedy that began in late August when the father and daughter took their lives from the same bridge.

In both cases, the youngest son, 29-year-old Lee Chang-yuan, was left to find the suicide note. In the latest incident, he discovered a note on the table after returning home from the convenience store where he has worked part-time for the past 45 days that read: "Yuan: We jumped from the Chen Mei Bridge. Take good care of yourself."

After the son took the note to the Nankang Police Department seeking help, police went to the bridge and found three pairs of slippers and an umbrella on the sidewalk, in a scene that was an eerie reminder of the deaths of the family's father and sister four months earlier.

The bodies of the mother, Chen Chin-chih, 53, and oldest son, Lee Shih-chang, were found by the police, but that of the second eldest son, Lee Shih-chou, remains missing.

Police also discovered from footage shot by security cameras in the family's neighborhood that the three suicide victims left their home at approximately 1:53 a.m. Sunday morning. Based on the video footage, the slippers left on the bridge and the note left behind, the coroner ruled out homicide as a cause of death.

It remains unclear what drove the family members to take their lives.

The notes themselves provide few clues, with the note left behind in August showing a drawing of two people hand in hand on the bridge with an arrow pointing to the river below and the words "father and daughter, Chen Mei Bridge."

It is believed, however, that financial woes may have played a part.

The daughter, 28-year-old Lee Pei-ling, was the family's only wage-earner when she and her father, unemployed construction worker Lee Shih-ying, committed suicide in August.

According to the local news media, Lee was an independent contractor who was left in heavy debt after the company he did most of his jobs for went bankrupt and failed to pay him money owed.

Lee later became ill, reports said, leaving him unable to work and recoup his losses.

After he and his daughter committed suicide in August, reports of the family's poverty and inability to afford funerals for the two family members drew sympathy and donations from local residents.

The family of six was living in a rented apartment only 13-16 square meters, local news reports said.

The Sophie Scholls of the World are Important

When I told Joyce I was writing an article about her, her first reaction was characteristically self-effacing: "Why? I'm not important!"

Well, yes and no. Joyce Huang as a personage, i.e., "a person of distinction," may not be important. But Joyce Huang as a paragon, a "model of excellence," is vitally important. Joyce Huang is as important to China's future as Sophie Scholl was to Germany's.

Sophie Scholl's last words before she was executed were "Die Sonne scheint noch," meaning "The Sun still shines."

The sun no longer shines over Taiwan. Like the Chinese mainland under Mao's Three Antis, Five Antis Campaigns, Great Leap Forward, and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Taiwan is dying. Like the Chinese mainland, Taiwan will have to die before it can be reborn.

Correction, if it is to be reborn.

Rebirth is hardly a forgone conclusion. Societies that have died and were never reborn vastly outnumber those that enjoy a new lease on life. India and China are exceptions. Egypt and Greece are the rule.

The Taiwan region of China has two options.

One, it can be reborn as a distinct entity uniquely valuable to the Chinese nation as a whole, as well as to the global economy.

Two, it can revert to its traditional, and if truth be told, normal status as an impoverished and irrelevant provincial backwater of China.

Political independence for Taiwan, as even Chen Shui-bian conceded in a moment of rare honesty, is not an option.

Which will it be?

The answer depends upon the people and leadership on Taiwan, on whether they possess the wisdom and foresight to alter their increasingly narrow and impassible "ben tu" path, so Politically Correct for this constricted island in here, so practically wrong for the wider world out there.

To paraphrase Sophie Scholl, the Chinese people on Taiwan must:

Disassociate yourself from "ben tu" Taiwan independence fascism. Prove by your deeds that you think otherwise. An end in Green Terror is preferable to a Green Terror without end. Chen Shui-bian, like Lee Teng-hui before him, cannot achieve Taiwan independence, he can only precipitate disaster.

People and political leaders on Taiwan, not just Pan Greens, but also "ben tu" inclined Pan Blues, must listen to those rare individuals capable of learning from history, to "strange fish" who know the existence of water, to individuals like Joyce Huang, the Sophie Scholl of Taiwan.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Chinese, not Taiwanese Election

A Chinese, not Taiwanese Election
Bevin Chu
December 07, 2006

On December 9, 2006, this coming Saturday, registered voters in the City of Taipei and the City of Kaohsiung will be going to the polls. They will be voting for their next mayor and their next city councilmen and councilwomen.

For the record, these voters in Taipei and Kaohsiung are not Taiwanese. They are citizens of Taipei and Kaohsiung, but they are not citizens of Taiwan.

The candidates for office will not be Taiwanese either. If they were, they would be ineligible to run for the positions that are opening up.

That's because Taipei and Kaohsiung are not part of Taiwan. They are cities in China, under the jurisdiction of one of two rival governments of China, but they do not belong to Taiwan. They are not part of Taiwan.

City of Taipei, part of the ROC, but not part of Taiwan

How's that?

The City of Taipei and the City of Kaoshiung are 直轄區 , i.e., Directly Administered Regions of the Republic of China. They are not part of Taiwan, nor do they fall under the administration of the Taiwan Provincial Government.

Instead, they fall under the direct administration of the Republic of China Central Government. Hierarchically speaking, they occupy the same level as the Taiwan Provincial Government. Therefore, quite literally, residents of Taipei and Kaohsiung are Chinese, but not Taiwanese.

In other words, Taiwan is part of China. Taipei is part of China. Kaohsiung is part of China. But Taipei and Kaohsiung are not part of Taiwan. Taipei and Kaohsiung do not belong to Taiwan.

Several major cities on the Chinese mainland, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing, have the same legal status as Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Shanghai may be "inside" Jiangsu Province, but it does not belong to Jiangsu Province, nor is it administered by the Jiangsu Provincial Government.

I lived in Washington, D.C. for four years, while attending junior and senior high school, while my father was posted at the Republic of China Embassy. Washington, D.C., is not part of the State of Maryland to the north, nor is it part of the State of Virginia to the south. Instead, Washington, D.C. falls under the direct jurisdiction of the US Federal Government.

Washington, DC, part of the USA, but not part of Maryland or Virginia

When I lived in D.C., I referred to myself as a Washingtonian, not a Marylander or a Virginian. When I moved to Silver Springs, I referred to myself as a Marylander, not a Washingtonian. When I lived in Houston, I referred to myself as a Houstonian and a Texan. When I lived in Los Angeles, I referred to myself as an Angeleno and a Californian.

So it is with Taipei and Kaohsiung. The City of Taipei and the City of Kaohsiung may be located on a Chinese island known as Taiwan, but they are not part of Taiwan. Now that I am living in Taipei, I might refer to myself as a "Taipeier," but not as a "Taiwanese."

Therefore, on Saturday December 9, 2006, Chinese, not Taiwanese, will be going to the polls to vote for the mayors and councilpersons of Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Those candidates who are elected, will be officials of China, not Taiwan.

Taiwan independence Quislings, stick that in your pipe and smoke it!