Jerome F. Keating's writings

2009 - 3rd Quarter Writings

Taiwan, What's Your Satisfaction Level?

Tuesday September 29

It is the second year of the alleged reign of Ma the Incompetent in Taiwan, and it is no secret that the comfort level of the citizens of Taiwan post Morakot has hit an all time low. Whether one is blue or green, the prevalent and recurring theme song is the Rolling Stones, "I can't get no satisfaction." Why? As E.B.B. says, "Let me count the ways" and this is without even mentioning 6-3-3. ...

Taiwan Voters Prove They are not Sheep

Monday September 28

On Saturday, September 26, Taiwan voters made a statement; it was simple, but it was direct and to the point. They said, we are not sheep; don't expect us to follow all the old patterns; don't think you can always buy our votes; don't think big advertising campaigns will always sway us. Taiwan voters once again proved that Taiwan is a democracy and people can vote their minds - unlike that other country that lies somewhere to the west of Taiwan where their paternalistic and patronizing government tells them what is best for them. What country is that; well let's forget about their name, what was the vote on in Taiwan. ...

Taiwan Artists Protest Ma Ying-jeou's Government Asleep at the Wheel

Monday September 21

On Saturday September 19th, a small but vocal and visual protest took to the streets of Taipei. It was roughly 1000 people or more (small by Taipei standards) but what made it different and unique was that it was spontaneously organized by concerned citizens in the artistic community of Taiwan and not any big political party machines. They named it the pajama parade for a government asleep at the wheel as far as protecting Taiwan's sovereignty and its democratic values were concerned. These marchers voiced their disdain with the incompetence of Ma Ying-jeou and his government; they expressed disgust with the kangaroo court trial of Chen Shui-bian and its unconstitutional abuse of power to prevent a proper defense; they came to say Taiwan deserved better and should have it. ...

The KMT's Diane Lee Back in Court: I Ripped You Off, but I Am Not Corrupt.

Friday September 18

You can tell the loyalty of the beggar's children (乞丐趕廟公) to Taiwan by the way they are always ready to jump ship if the going gets tough. For that reason, Diane Lee of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has held dual citizenship with the USA from 1994 (when democracy began to take hold) to the present. During that time she has illegally collected over US$3 million in salaries and has also made laws for a country that she is prepared to abandon at a moment's notice. ...

Two Keatings, Two Different Opinions

Thursday September 17

In a recent news report from Washington DC, Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the Hawaii-based US Pacific Command stated that he was "cautiously optimistic" on US-China relations. In a separate report from Taipei, Taiwan, Jerome F. Keating Ph.D. retired professor and author(distant relation to Timothy) stated in almost point-counterpoint, that he was "cautiously pessimistic" of US-China relations. ...

The Real Source of Taiwan's Campaign Corruption

Tuesday September 15

In its laws on campaign funding and party donations as well as the use of special government allowances, Taiwan has a corrupt system, created by a corrupt party to justify and shelter its corrupt gains. It was created by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in its one-party state colonial heyday, and has been in place in Taiwan for over sixty years. What is the source and cause of this corruption? The United China Daily in an editorial in September, 2008 put it plainly, "The primary reason is the lack of laws compelling public servants to explain the source of their wealth." Armed with the protection of this system innumerable politicians have been able to profit all the way from the KMT's one-party state days on up to the present. Further, the pan-blue controlled Legislative Yuan has refused to change this gravy train because they do not want to kill the goose that lays their golden eggs. Chen Shui-bian's recent crime and fault is not in his alleged money-laundering and misuse of funds, but because he is a Taiwanese outside that corrupt system but has dared to use it and make similar profit. ...

The Continuing Death of Justice in Taiwan: Deconstructing and Exposing the Hypocrisy of Ma Ying-jeou?

Sunday September 13

The brutal murder of Lin Yi-siung's mother and his two twin daughters (age 7) in broad daylight in their own home while Lin was in prison and his home was under 24-hour daily surveillance by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) one-party state secret police is one of the unsolved murders of the early 80s. Recently, Ma Ying-jeou in a seeming show of concern with justice for Taiwan's past had directed that this case and others be re-opened. To many however, it soon became apparent that Ma did not want to find answers but simply wanted a shallow, cursory examination to thus forever exonerate the KMT administration and provide himself with a facile excuse. Once completed, he could then spout to foreign media, "my administration in its concern for justice re-opened the cases from the past but unfortunately we found no other leads," and the foreign media would write how noble Ma was in trying to rectify the past etc. etc. ...

Jerome Cohen, Ma's Law School Mentor, Again Speaks Out on the Ma Government Violation of Human Rights

Saturday September 12

Jerome Cohen has repeatedly spoken out on the violations of human rights in the Ma government, but it appears that having returned to Taiwan, Ma has left law school behind. Cohen highlights how Chen Shui-bian has repeatedly been denied the human right to a fair preparation of defense in his trial. It appears that Ma's government is afraid of that very matter, that Chen be allowed a chance to properly defend himself. The court knows its arguments are weak, and a proper defense could destroy them. Watch what happens in the future. ...

US Congress Has Screening of "Formosa Betrayed" Film

Saturday September 12

Taiwan's struggle to create a democracy over the constraints of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) one-party state took decades. The film, "Formosa Betrayed" presents a composite of events in the 1980s and how the KMT was responsible for several high profile murders to try and contain those seeking a multi-party state democracy. As the US Congress watches the film, it should be aware of how often certain elements in its own government will co-opt to work with dictatorships like the KMT once had and betray the ideals of the founding fathers of the USA. They must always learn to look behind the scenes. ...

Denied a Fair Trial and Imprisoned by "Judge Shopping" and Other Abuses Chen Presents His Case Outside the Court

Wednesday September 09

What follows is a summary and foreword to the arguments of Chen Shui-bian's defense team. It is presented to the people outside the court since Chen's team feel that the court was compromised long ago when it went "judge shopping" in order to find a judge that would imprison Chen though he was only indicted and the trial had not yet begun. Similarly by insisting that they be allowed to tape and listen in to all conversations with his lawyers and anyone else, the prosecutors denied him any chance to present a decent defense. We (Chen Shui-bian's defense team) firmly believe that: ...

Neo-Formosa Magazine Launch and Chen Shui-bian's Defense

Wednesday September 09

Today Chen Shui-bian's Office will be launching or re-starting the publication of the Neo-Formosa Magazine, a magazine for which Chen was charged with libel twenty-three years ago. Chen's Office will use that occasion to present some of the key points in their defense against the indictments that he faces and the up-coming judgment by the court on September 11. Below is the abstract of their case, a case that they are bringing to the people because in their mind, the court has been biased not only in its indictments but also their imprisonment and handling of the trial. Of all the accused political people in Taiwan's history, whether Party chiefs, presidential candidates, party chairman etc. Chen is the only one who was jailed and held incommunicado for over a half a year. The abstract follows. ...

September, as the World Turns in Taiwan: the Anti-Climax of Wu Shu-jen

Monday September 07

The court finally gave its sentence in the trial of Wu Shu-jen for implied money-laundering, corruption, manipulating state funds etc. etc. all those dark insinuations and charges that Taiwan has been forced to listen to from the pan-blue media for over the past two years. In the final analysis, after the trial, after the accusations, and after all the vindictiveness, Wu's sentence proved we had gone through all of this to listen to sound and fury signifying nothing. At best this sentence was, to say the least, anti-climatic. ...

September, as the World Turns in Taiwan: a New and Final Name for Ma Ying-jeou?

Saturday September 05

Throughout history, it is common for leaders to pick up names and nicknames that speak to various qualities they possess. Most everyone can remember the stories of Richard the Lion-hearted of England as well as Erik the Red of Viking lore. Lesser known may be Charles the Bold of Burgundy who happened to be the son of Philip the Good (now that is a tough name to have to live up to). The lists go on and on and that inevitably leads to the question of how Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou has gained the name, Ma the Incompetent. ...

September, As the World Turns in Taiwan: Yeh Ching-chuan 2009

Saturday September 05

Typhoon Morakot and the Dalai Lama's subsequent visit were not the only newsworthy items happening recently in Taiwan. In Hualien, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) held its primary and former Department of Health Minister, Yeh Ching-chuan was left as a clear loser. While some jokingly expressed the thought that "it couldn't have happened to a nicer weasel," others pondered what it might be saying politically. ...

Ma Ying-jeou, the Dalai Lama and Taiwan Part III, the Parting Shot

Friday September 04

The Dalai Lama's visit is over and much went as according to script. Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT leaders avoided him; the DPP leaders welcomed him, China protested but not too much so that it would not put Ma in a bad spot (they put the blame on the DPP). On the ground, the people in the south were comforted, the Dalai Lama showed them more sympathy and empathy than Ma ever did. Overall the country was glad he came, but as always there were some protesters; in a democracy, you always will have protesters. During the same time period there was even a larger protest against the United State--that protest was about how Taiwan (because of its unresolved status after the 1952 Treaty of San Francisco) still belonged to the USA. But protests aside, there was one other interesting aspect. ...

Mark Chen, Tainan Municipality New Primary, The Voters will Decide!

Wednesday September 02

The merging of Tainan City with Tainan County to create the Tainan Municipality will be inaugurated on Dec. 25 of next year. Thus the election for the Magistrate of the Municipality will be held near the end of 2010; this has helped the DPP out of one tight spot and put the ball back with the voters. What am I talking about? It means that a new primary will need to be held and all are starting from scratch. ...

Ma Ying-jeou, the Dalai Lama, and Taiwan Part II, When is the Timing Right?

Sunday August 30

In 2008, the Dalai Lama had expressed interest in coming to Taiwan, but President Ma Ying-jeou refused him entry saying that the "timing was not right." While one might puzzle over when and why the timing would ever be right or not right for an internationally known religious leader and man of peace to visit a country, most assumed that Ma in typical toady fashion did not want to "offend" the People's Republic of China (PRC). Certainly, Ma did need China at this time. He had made a campaign promise to raise the country's growth rate from 5 per cent to 6 per cent. Regrettably in Ma's first year in office the growth rate had dropped to 3 per cent and China was the only trick that the one-trick pony had in his bag to salvage Taiwan's economy. ...

Ma Ying-jeou, the Dalai Lama and Taiwan Part I: Whose Side is Ma on?

Saturday August 29

After Taiwan's government issued a visa to allow the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan, the People's Republic of China (PRC) quickly responded with a condemnation of the action. It had all along condemned any visit by the Dalai Lama regardless of motive, even religious or compassionate. But this time the PRC went further. Though it was the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) led government that granted the visa, the PRC blamed the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the action, saying, "The DPP's evil motives will definitely be opposed by compatriots from both sides of the Taiwan Strait." ...

Ma Ying-jeou, the Sycophant Syndrome, and the KMT's New Dilemma

Saturday August 22

Taiwan's Typhoon Morakot did more than finalize how Ma Ying-jeou in true Peter Principle fashion had risen far beyond the level of his competence. It also exposed what may be called the Sycophant Syndrome and a dilemma for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Let's deal with the Sycophant Syndrome first. ...

Taiwan Enters Ghost Month in Post-Morakot Pain

Thursday August 20

Today ushered in Ghost Month in Taiwan. It is a month when many are wary and careful of certain actions. They may choose to not move to a new apartment or home in this month. They may avoid going swimming. They may decide it is time to visit the temple and pray for protection. There are many actions that are governed by this fact. But this year, in post-Morakot suffering, the people of Taiwan, particularly those in the south will have much more on their minds. ...

Ma Ying-jeou, When Images Are Not Enough!

Tuesday August 18

What world does Ma Ying-jeou live in? A clear and painful result of Typhoon Morakot has been that it is a world of images, a world of images past and images present. It is a world of imaginary images, imaginary images that have been built on, fostered and fashioned by years and years of faulty Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) paradigms and reinforced by their propaganda. True in the mind of Ma Ying-jeou, his party and his spin-masters, image has always trumped performance and/or reality. But Taiwanese are finally realizing this. They are not only realizing this but they are also realizing that regardless of and contrary to his words, Ma has no idea of what it is to be Taiwanese. ...

Typhoon Morakot, a Painful Reminder of Ma Ying-jeou and the Peter Principle

Tuesday August 18

With the government's mis-handling of Typhoon Morakot, many have finally come to realize how Ma Ying-jeou exemplifies the Peter Principle--a person that rises to the level of his/her incompetence. For perceptive Ma-watchers this was already evident when Ma was mayor of Taipei. Unfortunately for Taiwan, the general public is often distracted and swayed by promises (Ma's forte) rather than performance and so it only listed to Ma and elected him to the Presidency based on his 6-3-3 promise of economic prosperity. Chang Jung-feng, the National Security Council deputy secretary-general under Lee Teng-hui recently spoke to this and gave the public a painful reminder by saying. "Now as president, he (Ma) is expanding the scope of his ineptitude from the municipal level to a national scale." ...

Ma Ying-jeou's Government Continues to Try to Flip-Flop its Way Out of Blame

Monday August 17

If you remember when the USA and Japan immediately offered aid to Taiwan in the aftermath of the destructive typhoon, Ma's government refused that aid. Then, as embarassment rose, it was declared that they accepted it and the first statement was in error. A typo was blamed. Well tommorrow, Ma will meet with the Taiwan Foreign Correspondent's Club (TFCC) and again we have the flip-flop. ...

Typhoon Morakot and the Many Names of Ma Ying-jeou

Thursday August 13

With the onslaught of Typhoon Morakot, Ma Ying-jeou's leadership skills proved sorely lacking. So as the country of Taiwan struggles to recover, it is time for its citizens to give President Ma a second look. Not just a second look but a long hard second look. This is the man that promised them 6-3-3 and gave them 3-3-6. This is the man who lived on promises but never had a good track record for performance as Mayor of Taipei. This is the man who ironically is already talking like he should be re-elected in 2012. And finally, this is the man that wants the people to give him complete blind trust and not ask for details as he presses for a potentially dangerous ECFA agreement with China. ...

Me, Freddy Lim, Chiang Kai-shek, Art and Taiwan's Identity

Saturday August 08

Taiwanese will not find their true identity as an island nation until they fully realize the indoctrination and brean-wahsing they endured under Chiang Kai-shek (CKS). They will not find their true identity until they realize that he had nothing to do with them except to take advantage of them in their hour of need and to exploit them in his hour of need. It is for this reason that one of the most sad and disappointing things to recently happen in Taiwan has been the changing of the name of Democracy Hall back to that of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. It is a step backwards for democracy in Taiwan and symptomatic of Ma Ying-jeou's attempts to fabricate past credibility for his Sino-centric (not Taiwan-centric) government. ...

Back in Taiwan, Let the Writing Begin

Thursday August 06

As the song says, often "you don't know what you got till it's gone." This phrase was echoed by the husband of one of the two American journalists recently freed after being detained in North Korea. Conscious of that, I hope of course the people of Taiwan never have to utter that phrase in regard to their democracy and sovereignty even though many powers in the world seeking immediate monetary gain pressure the Taiwanese to give both their democracy and sovereignty up to placate China. Nevertheless I might add a corollary. ...

The KMT's Calculated Deflection: the Unjust and Unconstitutional Trial of Chen Shui-bian

Saturday July 25

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is seen by many as the proverbial beggar who came and took over Taiwan's Temple ( ). They came as a colonial power, destroyed the island's economy to support their losing war effort in China, and finally retreated back to the island to grab the positions of power, property and wealth as their own. It is in this context and with this perspective that the charade of the corruption trial of Taiwan former president, Chen Shui-bian needs to be seen. In that trial, the evidence mounts and mounts not as regards Chen's guilt, which has yet to be proven but towards the double standard of justice in Taiwan. That double standard has always been a characteristic of the KMT from its Martial Law days on. Chen's greatest fault remains that he is Taiwanese and he stood up to the KMT; he not only stood up to them but worse than that he used the corrupt system that had been installed by the beggar in the temple for his own and not for their profit. ...

Maritime Taiwan, a New Book with a Different Perspective on Taiwan

Tuesday July 21

Writing in the "Asian American Press," Richard Kagan provides a Book Review on Shih-shan Henry Tsai's Maritime Taiwan: Historical Encounters with the East and the West. ...

As the World Turns in Taiwan III: Reallity Check for the Rest of the World

Monday July 20

The World Games are now taking place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan but many in the world and certainly in the USA do not even know that they are. Why? Because the media do not really reflect international news. Check your media, have they reported on the games? If not, time to do some self-examination and a reality check on how much you should trust your local media. ..

As the World Turns in Taiwan II: More Games than One In Kaohsiung

Friday July 17

Kaohsiung, Taiwan is gloriously hosting the 8th World Games this year and some 105 countries are here to participate. But the World Games are not the only game in town. Last year when Chen Yunlin from China visited the country, Ma Ying-jeou did not want to admit he was president in front of him. He was introduced as Mr. Ma so as not to offend China. This year, however, things are different. Ma opened the games as the President of Taiwan. So why the change? ...

As the World Turns in Taiwan I: Junket Time

Wednesday July 15

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) forum has begun in China. This is a party to party forum initiated in 2005 by the two leaders (KMT Lien Chan and CCP Hu Jintao); neither one of them has ever won a democratic election; that should tell you something about the nature of the forum. It is party to party, but in his own way of dodging the truth, Ma Ying-jeou wants to call it a cross-strait forum. He knows party to party talks cannot justify a basis for policy, but he does not want to give outsiders any real power in it. They will only be "special guests." ...

When It Comes to National Identity, Taiwanese Can Be Their Own Worst Enemy

Sunday July 12

Most visitors to Taiwan leave with good impressions. They say Taiwanese are friendly, helpful, kind etc. In business Taiwanese have proven themselves to be hard-working, adaptive and entrepreneurial. So why then do these same congenial people have trouble working together for one nation in politics? Why can't they develop, expand and solidify the freedom and democracy that they and their ancestors took so long to win and sacrificed so much to achieve? Why do Taiwanese, particularly in their nation's identity and sovereignty become their own worst enemy? ...

Why the Name of Democracy Memorial Hall Should Not Be Changed Back to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Part II

Friday July 10

This is the continuation of the letter of K.W. Dowie. It is one more testimonial on the brutality imposed on Taiwanese by the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). It is not an isolated incident but rather one of continued, innumerable cases of suffering and murder from that time. Despite that, there are still those who want to change the name of Taiwan Democracy Hall back to that of the dead dictator. Only the sickest of authoritarian minds would want to do so, but those sick minds still exist in Taiwan. For those Taiwanese who have short memories just scroll down to my entries of March 13 on about Kuo Kuan-ying, Diane Lee and the KMT leech that has always been at Taiwan's throat. (The letter continues here.) ...

Why the Name of Democracy Memorial Hall Should Not Be Changed Back to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Thursday July 09

The following letter of April 14, 1947 was written by K.W. Dowie at the request of George William Mackay to Mackay's daughter Margaret in Canada. Mackay (the son of famed missionary George Leslie MacKay) wanted to get out news of what was happening in Taiwan after 2/28. Dowie had been a missionary in Taiwan 1913-1924 and was the architect of Tamsui Middle School; he was visiting Taiwan in the service of the US Navy after World War II. Not wanting to risk censorship Dowie wrote and mailed the letter after he left Taiwan. It is another first hand account of the murders after 2/28 and another reason why the name of Democracy Memorial Hall should never be changed back to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. The letter follows. ...

Will Barack Obama Stand Up the Same Way for Taiwan?

Thursday July 02

With the recent attempted coup in Honduras, Barack Obama responded immediately and spelled out the United States position under him. He said, "We stand on the side of democracy, sovereignty and self-determination." Those are strong and clear words; the only shame of it all is that the United States after some sixty years (more than a half a century) has not been able to unambiguously state the same about Taiwan. ...