Jerome F. Keating's writings

2008 - 4th Quarter Writings

The KMT's ex-legislator Diane Lee: the Smell of Rotten Fish Becomes Stronger in Taiwan

Wednesday December 31

There is indeed something rotten in both Denmark and in Taiwan as the Diane Lee case drags on. Lee has now resigned from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) but she still remains locked in denial. Who wouldn't if you had committed a criminal act and owed over US $3 million dollars to the people of Taiwan? There is a simple solution however, but Diane Lee does not provide it. Diane Lee got her first passport in 1991. US passports are good for ten years; that means that Diane Lee's passport would have to have been renewed in 2001. So why would the US state that her passport is still valid? What number is the passport under? Does it show renewal? 2001 was a crucial year in US history and entrance requirements have become much stricter. ...

The KMT's Diane Lee, the Ways of the Weasel Part II

Sunday December 28

Fabrication, fabrication, who will do the fabrication? The case of Diane Lee becomes more complex and more devious. Below follows some expert advice from someone well versed in the ins and outs of the US consular service. There is a formal process that is gone through and with such a process, the magical way that Diane Lee claims her US passport has disappeared becomes less and less credible. In the meantime, however though it becomes more evident that Diane Lee has ripped off the government and people of more than US$3 million, and violated Taiwan's Constitutional law, Diane Lee is allowed to roam free and collude with whomever she wants to develop her strategy for exit. She has not even been sought for questioning, let alone handcuffed etc. before indictments. Would that Chen Shui-bian had friends in high places. It will be interesting to see what evidence Diane Lee provides in the coming month and how it was fabricated, or shall we say mysteriously found...

The KMT's Diane Lee, Legislative Abuse, and the Ways of the Weasel

Saturday December 27

For those that watch the scandals and rumor-mongering of Taiwan, Diane Lee's name is an all too familiar by-word. One of her more famous past escapades and abuses of her legislative position was in 2002 when she wrongfully accused DPP supporter and head of the Department of Health, Twu Shiing-jer. Lee charged that Twu kissed another man in a KTV parlor and that public morals were being corrupted. She insisted over and over again that she had her man and she was the upholder of morality not rumors. Of course, investigations proved Lee wrong and she had to make a public apology - what else could she do when caught in a blatant falsehood. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) dominated Legislative Yuan (LY) gave her a slap on the wrist and let her off easily as it has with the convicted Chiu Yi. It seems now she is again counting on her KMT comrades in the LY to bail her out once more...

David Wu, Taiwanese American US Congressman Criticizes Ma Government

Wednesday December 24

David Wu is the only Taiwanese American serving in the US Congress; and he was recently re-elected to his sixth term representing the 1st District of Oregon. Wu knows the difference between true freedom and democracy, and so he also wrote to US President Bush to express his deep concern over the clampdown of human rights and civil liberties in Taiwan under President Ma Ying-jeou. Wu urged US President Bush to push for an investigation of these abuses under Ma and to closely monitor Taiwan's problems. What makes Wu's letter all the more important is that he purposely wrote his own letter instead of joint signing with the 14 other US Congressman who also expressed concern to President Bush. By separating himself, Wu is making a statement. He is one that truly knows both Taiwan and knows human rights and civil liberties; therefore he is not fooled by Ma's propaganda or platitudes. Wu's letter follows...

US Congress Expresses Concern over Abuses Under Ma Ying-jeou

Tuesday December 23

It is not only numerous International Human Rights Organizations, media watchdogs and other guardians of human rights and civil liberties that are shocked at the violations that have already taken place in Taiwan during the first seven months of the rule of President Ma Ying-jeou. Fourteen members of the US Congress took pains to write US President Bush advising him that he must keep a "close eye" on the machinations of the Ma government. These Congressmen are well worried that Ma's definition of "peace in our time" does not come at the expense of Taiwanese civil rights. Their letter follows....

Taiwan's Chen Shui-bian, Guilty or Not-Guilty?

Monday December 20

Anyone reading about Taiwan news would know that former president Chen Shui-bian has been accused of just about stealing everything from the Presidential Office kitchen sink to the treasures in the National Palace Museum. Some may wonder where I stand on this. My response is simple; if Chen is guilty of money laundering etc., then I say "hang him high." If not then let's get on with life and face the fact why so many hate not only Chen, but also the reality of Taiwan's sovereignty that he represents. For it is this that inconveniently sticks in their craw and disrupts their profits and sculpted agendas for the world. For sure, Chen has been already, judged and found guilty in the pan-blue media and subsequently hung, drawn and quartered so many times that it is not just de rigueur but the only thing they can think of to print. Innocent until proven guilty? Not in pan-blue Taiwan...

The List of Protests Against Ma Just Grows and Grows; Is There Anyone That Has Not Spoken Up

Monday December 17

The list of complaints against Ma Ying-jeou has become so numerous that one hesitates to add another. For those who know Ma, it is reality finally surfacing. Ma never had an image of Mr. Clean; those on the inside have always seen through that from Ma's days as a student spy. Now, Reporters Without Borders (RWP) has spoken out on how President Ma Ying-jeou is not keeping his promises to respect public media independence. In response, Ma had written in a letter to its secretary-general Jean-François Julliard, "We believe that accusations of this administration's interference in Taiwan's media are based on some wrong information or misunderstandings." But despite such denials the organisation continues to get disturbing reports of the ruling Kuomintang party decisions undermining the independence of the public media. ...

Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou, the Cracks Have Become Fissures, Part I

Monday December 15

Ma Ying-jeou has been president of Taiwan for some seven months and already the cracks in his counterfeit façade are becoming fissures. As one elected with a popular majority, his image, so carefully crafted in the past, has not stood up to the test of the reality and responsibility required by the role of President. Even rascals and under-achievers have had a longer honeymoon period than Ma's bare one month. ...

And Still Another Two Human Rights Organizations Join the Protest Against Ma Ying-jeou's Rule

Friday December 12

Read through the past ten posts where international organization after international organization speaks out on the erosion of justice and the violation of human rights in Taiwan. Earlier this week, the police forcefully removed the students in silent protest at Liberty Square in Taipei. With clubs and shields the Taipei police moved in on the sleeping students at 4 am in the morning; U-tube recordings of the event are available. And yet in almost mocking ironic contrast, Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou spoke at a seminar on Dec. 10th Human Rights Day. While outside abuses of human rights followed abuses Ma said that all was progressing well under his administration. Ma may still fool some of the naive in Washington DC but almost in answer another two organizations, The Taiwan Association for Human Rights (Taipei) and the Formosan Association for Human Rights (US) added their cries to the mounting criticism of Ma Ying-jeou. Their words follow. ...

Amnesty International Adds its Voice to Protests Against the Erosion of Justice under Ma Ying-jeou's KMT Government

Saturday December 06

On December 7th, the Wild Strawberries will have a march to continue their protest against the harsh Parade and Assembly Laws that Taiwan has and which are a carry-over from the Martial Law days. The march will be peaceful; it will also be carried out without a permit required by the law. It constitutes a peaceful act of civil disobedience reminiscent of the thought and practices of Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. Almost as if in support, Amnesty International has added its voice to the continuously growing number of organizations that question the dedication to justice of the government of Ma Ying-jeou. You simply have to look at all the previous posts on this page and you will see some ten protests and organizations listed. ...

The Taiwan Bar Associations and Judicial Reform Foundation Weigh in on the Abuses of the Ministry of Justice

Monday December 01

The evidence mounts, and it seems like it will never end. On Nov. 21, in a Joint Statement, the Taiwan Bar Association, the Taipei Bar Association and the Judicial Reform Foundation expressed their dissatisfaction on the abuses demonstrated by Taiwan's Ministry of Justice (MOJ). The MOJ appears to be selectively carrying out its vendetta against Taiwan's former president and members of the Democratic Progressive Party. Taiwan's President who appointed the Minster of Justice also tries to dodge the guilt by claiming that is the MOJ business. ...

Scholars Find Taiwan's Minster of Justice's Response Inadequate

Saturday November 29

The previous posting of Taiwan's Minister of Justice's response to the JOINT STATEMENT of the scholars and writers (posted November 15) did not address the real issues of the erosion of justice in Taiwan. Ignoring numerous other protests also listed below, the Minister's response appears to hide behind the technicalities of the Constitution. Taiwan's current Constitution has many inadequacies; among them is that it was created for continental China but ill fits the island nation of Taiwan. By the Minister's implication it is so broad that it allows numerous abuses that may be technically within the letter of the law but far from the spirit and purpose of the law. For this reason it can allow the selective application to one's political opposition and still fall under the umbrella of the Constitution. For that reason, the scholars/writers of the first statement on the erosion of justice in Taiwan felt obligated to respond in specifics to the Minister's letter. That response can be found below. ...

Taiwan's Minister of Justice Responds to the Scholars' Joint Statement

Thursday November 27

On November 6th some twenty US, Canadian, European, and Australian scholars wrote a Joint Statement to Taiwan's Ministry of Justice and other government agencies expressing deep concern over the recent series of detentions in Taiwan (that statement can be seen below on November 15). The statement was also published in the "Taipei Times" on November 6. The Honorable Wang Ching-feng, Taiwan's Minister of Justice recently responded to that statement stating that it was inaccurate on several points. Minister Wang's letter was printed in the "Taipei Times" on November 25. On November 26 the Taipei Times editorial addressed the Minister's letter and in particular where it claimed that all Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) figures arrested were charged according to law within 24 hours. The editorial stated "This unfortunately, is also simply untrue raising concerns that Wang did not mean what she wrote or lacks a basic grasp of the legal system." The full editorial can be found in the Taipei Times for November 26. ...

And Yet Another World Agency Protests Abuses of Rights under Ma Ying-jeou

Tuesday November 25

The recently quoted Chinese proverb, "The Horse does not know how long his face is," appropriately fits Taiwan's situation under Ma Ying-jeou. There Ma's Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government and KMT dominated judiciary proceed blithely on claiming to be working for peace with the totalitarian regime in China while ignoring the abuses of power within their own ranks and inflicted on the democracy of Taiwan. Another world agency, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) has sent the following open letter to Taiwan's President Ma. ...

Freedom House Adds Yet Another Voice Against the Abuses of Ma Ying-jeou's KMT Government

Saturday November 22

While Ma Ying-jeou remains the one-trick pony whose only hope seems to be in running to China for solutions to boost his sagging approval rating of 23 per cent; his permitted or possibly directed abuse of his own people and the sovereignty of their nation continues. Another voice that has spoken out in this regard is Freedom House which also wants the abuses looked into. Since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) dominated judiciary continues it's fishing expedition and witch hunt to punish the opposition party leaders; it seems however that the citizens of Taiwan will get an impartial response to Freedom House's inquiry. ...

Annette Lu, Taiwan's Former Vice President Adds Her Voice to Protests Against the KMT Dominated Judiciary

Wednesday November 19

Former Vice President Annette Lu is no stranger to persecution and bad-mouthing from both the People's Republic of China (PRC) as well as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Until now after leaving office, she has been relatively silent on the recent abuses of the KMT dominated judiciary system under Ma Ying-jeou. In the following statement however, she does not hold back and adds her voice and legal experience to the many other critics of the heavy-handed measures used by the KMT judiciary. A Harvard educated lawyer, Ms. Lu goes into great detail on the specifics of the abuses. ...

The USA Heritage Foundation Further Lays Bare the KMT's Current Abuse of Justice

Tuesday November 18

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) controlled judiciary in Taiwan continues to abuse its powers. At present it conducts both a witch hunt and fishing expedition in its attempt to squelch its opposition party the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Former President Chen Shui-bian has been arrested and led away in handcuffs but to date no formal charges have been leveled against him. Likewise in abusing their powers they have arrested and held incommunicado numerous others of the DPP. These are all held in prison under the guise that they will now obstruct justice in a case that has been tendered and pursued for a long time. ...

Scholars Around the Globe Criticize Abuses Under Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT

Saturday November 15

This JOINT STATEMENT of US, Canadian, European and Australian scholars/writers started the ball rolling. It highlighted numerous abuses of civil rights and liberties already clearly evident in the first five months that Ma Ying-jeou had been in office. This statement came out on November 4th, 2008, even before Chen Yunlin had completed his visit and further police brutality and violation of civil liberties would become evident. These scholars wrote to express concern about the growing political prosecutions in Taiwan under Ma Ying-jeou. It reads as follows. ...

The Prebyterian Church of Taiwan Adds its Voice to Questioning the Government of Ma ying-jeou

Friday November 14

The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, a long-time and a staunch supporter of human rights and democracy in Taiwan has added its voice to the growing criticism and disillusionment with the government of Ma Ying-jeou and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). The following letter explains. ...

Canadian Human Rights Association Puts Ma Ying-jeou's Government on Watch List

Thursday November 13

Statement by Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada, November 13, 2008 Condemns Ongoing Political Prosecutions in Taiwan Calls on Human Rights groups to put the "Republic of China" on watch list ...

Taiwan's Wild Strawberry Student Protest Challenges the Inequities of the Nation's Laws

Thursday November 13

As long as Taiwan has Wild Strawberries, the country will maintain its democracy. Just as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in its will to maintain a one-party state miscalculated the will of the people and the strength of their determination in the Kaohsiung Incident on Human Rights Day (December 1979), so too, a generation later, the KMT is attempting to stonewall the Wild Strawberries who similarly are protesting against police abuse. The protest is also aimed at the continued failed action of the Legislative Yuan (always dominated by the KMT) to amend the harsh Parade and Assembly Law existent in Taiwan as a substitute for martial law. Following is the protest statement of the students who belong to no political party ...

Taiwan's President, The Little Man that is There!

Friday November 07

After a stormy five day sojourn in the country of Taiwan, Chen Yunlin is on his way back to China. Now that he is gone, it is time for Taiwanese to see their primping president for the little man that he really is. What should have been a routine visit by a low level person from China to ink prearranged agreements turned into a near riot and cost Taiwanese citizens millions of dollars in wasted resources as well as the experience of police brutality not seen since the days of the Kaohsiung Incident. This is not because of legitimate anger and protests of concerned citizens, but because of the inept mishandling and callous indifference of the whole situation by Taiwan's sometime president, Ma Ying-jeou. ...

The KMT's and Ma's Surreal Dream of Yesteryear

Wednesday November 05

Like an opium reverie of bygone years, a strange surrealistic cloud is descending on Taiwan. Members of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and their sometime leader Ma Ying-jeou are nostalgically striving to recreate the celebratory one-party state days of their colonial yesteryear rule as they wine and dine a civil servant of China, Chen Yunlin. Chen is head of China"s Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS); he is no head of state; he is simply head of an association to negotiate trade and is here to sign some trade agreements. The question then is why is Ma spending so much and trying to convince Taiwan citizens as well as the foreign media that something momentous is going on? ...

Special News from Taiwan Sovereignty Watch

Wednesday November 05

Coordinator: Taiwan Sovereignty Watch/Contact Info: Billy Pan 0968-718673; Michael 0935-156396; Luna 0917-228-367 ...

The US Elections, Is McCain the Republican Throwaway Candidate?

Sunday November 02

The US elections are drawing to a close and with all the rhetoric that has been flying most are probably glad that it will soon be over with. I was glad to see that at the American Legion dinner (I believe) last week, both candidates were able to laugh and joke in each others presence, despite the somewhat rabid behavior that each of their followers have exhibited. That gives me faith in the system. ...

1895, A New Film Coming out on Taiwan's Early Republic

Wednesday October 29

A new film, "1895", will be coming out within a month and it will be screened in many theatres in Taiwan. Its title and subject is 1895 - the year that the Republic of Taiwan was established. If you remember, the Manchu Qing Dynasty lost a war with Japan over who would control Korea during that year. In the subsequent Treaty of Shimonoseki, the Qing falsely surrendered all of Taiwan to Japan. Why do we say falsely? The Qing never controlled all of Taiwan; they only controlled the western part of the island. Nevertheless in mock and false generosity, they gave away all of Taiwan to the Japanese. In this process, no one ever asked or told the Taiwanese on the western part that they were being given away. Nor did anyone tell aboriginals who controlled the eastern half and the central mountain range that they no longer controlled their lands. ...

Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand: Part II, the Manila to Acapulco Trade Route

Sunday October 26

Part I of this series can be found on Oct. 17. Now while Taiwan is often the center my writings, as far as Spain was concerned in the 16th and 17th centuries, Taiwan was only one part of the larger picture of its trade, empire and expansion. An oft-forgotten part of that picture is the long standing Manila-Acapulco Trade Route, whose establishment and history have enough tales, challenges and adventures to create several novels. For though the Spanish had arrived in the Philippines as early as 1521 and a remnant of Magellan's men would continue west to complete their round-the-world journey, the Spanish faced yet another problem. If they were to develop consistent trade with Asia, they would need to find a way back east across the Pacific Ocean. ...

What Does Ma Ying-jeou Mean That There Will Be No War?

Saturday October 25

Taiwan did not respond in a filial manner to Zhang Mingqing's patronizing paternalism last week and so he went home to China teary-eyed, nevertheless he did go away with our quote of the week. Ma Ying-jeou however gave him a close race in that arena and came in second with his own brilliant statement. Ma boldly declared in the same week that there would be no war with China during his four year term as president. This strange quote left many in a quandary and wondering who on earth Ma was trying to talk to and what on earth was he trying to say. ...

China's Zhang Mingqing Lectures Taiwan on Human Rights

Wednesday October 22

Zhang Mingqing, the Vice Chairman of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, gets the award for the quote of the week. After he was jostled and booed by Taiwanese citizens, he decided it was time to lecture them in true authoritarian, patriarchal style. He said, "Such violent behavior not only infringes on human rights but also runs against the wish of the peoples on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Only uncivilized people do such a thing. A civilized society governed by the rule of law would never allow such violence to happen again." Wow, how so little a statement can leave so much to comment on, where shall I begin? ...

Ma Ying-jeou and the Peter Principle

Monday October 20

What is it a sign of when posing for pictures and uttering platitudes are not enough, when your approval ratings have plunged from 70 to under 25 and when half of the people who voted for you already regret their choice in your first 100 days? What is it a sign of? It's a sign that Taiwan has once again witnessed the Peter Principle in action, the principle that all men rise to the level of their incompetence, some more quickly than others. In the case of Ma Ying-jeou, however, some feel the degree of incompetence is so great and so unique that perhaps a new principle needs to be coined, the Ma principle. ...

Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand: Part I, Taiiwan

Friday October 17

Taiwan has always had trade with the islands around it and with the Asian continent. However, it was when the "invisible hand" that Adam Smith speaks of in "The Wealth of Nations" took hold of many Europeans that it would drive them to enter Asian waters in search of many things including spices known for their taste, medicinal value and even preservative aspects. Like it or not, the invisible hand had a large role in putting Taiwan on the "radar screen" and maps of Europe and in so plotting Taiwan's future and often turbulent destiny. ...

Penghu, Casinos and the Future of Taiwan?

Friday October 17

Penghu has always had a unique role in Taiwan's history. The Dutch fought the Ming to a standoff there, and as a result the Ming gave the Dutch Taiwan as a place from which to operate. When the Qing wanted to drive Zheng Zhi-long's Ming loyalists out of Taiwan, they first captured Penghu. When the Japanese wanted to fully take over Taiwan, they also first occupied Penghu and so the saying developed, as Penghu went, so went Taiwan. Now as Taiwan looks for ways to revitalize its economy, Penghu again appears to be stepping up to the plate. How's that? No there is no war; this time the word is Casinos. ...

Pandas in the Mist: Naming and More Problems for Taiwan?

Saturday October 11

While Taiwan's economy continues to slump, Mr. Ma, our regional administrator has been working (about the only area he seems to be actually doing some work in) and preparing behind the scenes to accept two pandas from China. These pandas are perhaps the sole vestige or legacy of Taiwan's well-known political loser Lien Chan to the country. ...

Niagara Falls, Still Spectacular and Well Worth the Visit

Tuesday October 07

Despite the seductive performance of Marilyn Monroe in the film noir "Niagara" (1953), the days of Niagara Falls as the favorite honeymoon destination in the USA are long past, but by no means, does that mean the falls are not well worth the visit. The first time I had seen them was with two of my brothers, way back in 1960; that may give you an idea of how old I am. It was a trip before I went on to grad school and had its own string of interesting events that I will save for another day. As for the falls, they of course are much older and have changed and weathered many a season and many a century while maintaining their own splendor. ...

Taiwan History Book Reaches its 4th Edition

Sunday October 05

The 4th edition of "Island in the Stream, a Quick Case Study of Taiwan's Complex History" is fresh off the presses and available at bookstores in Taiwan for the modest price of NT$200 (US$ 6.50). We are proud of this book since not many history books reach their fourth edition and certainly few if any other histories of Taiwan reach that stage. This edition continues with the tradition of having provocative questions at the end of each chapter to encourage readers to examine and probe more deeply into the many challenges facing the hard-won democracy of this island nation as well as the ways others have tried to twist and influence its history. For those in the United States and around the world, we are increasing our efforts to make it more readily available there. If you have trouble getting it, let us know. ...

Away from the Hustle and Busltle of Life is the Joy of Grandchildren

Friday October 03

One of the privileges, joys, and pleasures of life as you get older is to unashamedly brag about your grandkids and I am no exception. Kahlil Gibran states, "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archers hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable." With grandchildren, you have the wonder and joy to see how swift and how far beyond your children, your arrows and then their arrows have flown, and how the Archer allows the bow to be rewarded. ...