Jerome F. Keating's writings

2011 - 1rd Quarter Writings

Taiwan, Ah the Justice of it All

Thursday March 31

The Diane Lee case is once again in the news. Surprisingly, the courts have excused her the illegal salaries she collected for a position that she was not legally qualified to hold. That of City Councilor. The rationale supposedly is that she did the work; well and good, but if a person holds a position illegally what does that say about their character and whether they would not be trying to do other illegal things or even aiming for their and their friends benefits? ...

Three Cheers for Canada: as the World Turns

Saturday March 26

A recent article in the papers indicated that Canadian MPs took more expense paid trips to Taiwan than any other country. I must say I was a bit surprised at that, but then I was more surprised to find that the next and second most popular country that Canadian MPs took expense paid trips to was Israel. There can be all sorts of speculation on the why and wherefore of such. Such trips are made to gather information and both Taiwan and Israel are trouble spots that one would want information on. ...

What Arrogant Darkness Still Remains in the Hearts of Many KMT?

Tuesday March 22

Who has not wondered at the twisted minds of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)? How they could easily inflict 2/28, the White Terror and Martial Law on Taiwanese simply because they wanted to maintain their one-party state? Who has not wondered at what arrogant darkness filled certain KMT hearts that they could order and sanction the high profile murders in the 1980s, Chen Wen-cheng, Henry Liu and especially the Lin family children? Who has not hoped that after Taiwan won its democracy, the KMT might finally have changed? Unfortunately arrogance dies hard, and even though the KMT can no longer openly insist on its sense of entitlement and privilege, the arrogance remains. It cannot remain hidden. ...

China Expects the World to Pay for Its Draconian Measu

Wednesday March 16

While the Japanese tsunami is taking front and center news; everyone is also aware of the past earthquake in New Zealand and the tragic deaths there as well. The New Zealand government has an existing government accident insurance fund to compensate families of foreign nationals that were killed in what is sometimes termed "an act of God" or a natural disaster. What comes as a surprise and fits in the "Am-I-missing-something" category is the Chinese response to this. ...

Taichung as the World Turns: Who will Take the Blame for H

Tuesday March 15

More of the did-I-miss-something scenarios are coming out of Taichung, a city that competes for Taiwan's version of Sodom and Gommorah. First Huang Chong-dian, the chief of the Urban Development Department and two other city officials tendered their resignations because of the fire at the ALA pub that killed 9 and injured 12. The hazardous pub that had miraculously passed safety code inspections had gone up like a tinder-box; it also had been consistently mis-zoned in the city. Jason Hu said he would only accept the resignations after an investigation had been concluded. Here is where the obfuscation begins. ...

Ma Ying-jeou's Leadership by Platitudes, Confucius and the MOE

Tuesday March 08

Jason Hu's lax leadership may finally be catching up with him in Taichung but in another side of the nation state of Taiwan we see the repercussions of Ma Ying-jeou's leadership by platitudes. Faced with problems of widespread bullying, drug use and gang problems in the nation's high schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has come up with a suspect placebo cure, have the students read Confucius. ...

Are the Chickens Coming Home to Roost in Jason Hu's Taichung?

Monday March 07

Taichung was once again in the news in Taiwan. This time for a pub fire where nine died and 12 were injured. Good old Jason Hu was there also--yes the same mayor that after nine and a half years said it was time for action, time to clean up crime in his city. This time, Hu said that they must find an answer. No one would disagree with that but where? ...

Jason Hu, Taichung, Add Road Rage to Common Crimes

Monday February 28

Voters do get what they deserve and it seems the citizens of Taichung are happy with their rising crime rates. If you remember, after nine years, the return elected Jason Hu said that he would finally get down to cleaning up the crime record of the city. His already famous quote "Now is the time for action, not declaration" still shows that after nine years, action is not there. Road rage has entered the long list of crimes in Taichung. ...

Taiwan, the Mainland Affairs Council and the Flag: More Am I Missing Something?

Saturday February 26

Chen Yun-lin is in town and is getting his share of protesters. The Straits Exchange Foundation and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait have been trying to iron out matters on ECFA, but we are reminded of past meetings and the statement of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) last December. At that time they suggested that people should not be apprehended if they bring the national flag to the cross-strait talks. The burning question however is, "Who is the MAC talking to?" Why does the MAC feel they have to explain that it should be OK for the national flag, which represents the country, to have that flag present at talks that involve the country of Taiwan and are held in Taiwan? ...

Taiwan: Jason Hu and the Am I Missing Something Department

Thursday February 24

Jason Hu has been mayor of Taichung for eight years; he was just recently elected Mayor of the expanded Greater Taichung area. During that time, Taichung has gained the top reputation for sleeze, criminality, and all around lack of order in Taiwan. The police have regularly played mahjong with the gangsters, that is until it became too dangerous. When Weng Chi-nan was shot by other criminals, Jason Hu's Men in Blue were seen diving for cover. As a result the games seem to have been suspended. Taichung's police don't mind collecting money from criminals but they really don't want to get in the way of their turf wars. ...

Another Slap in the Face for Taiwan under Ma Ying-joke

Sunday February 13

The farce and the charade of Taiwan's president Ma continue increasing the reasons why the people call him Ma Ying-joke. Take for example the bogus 1992 Consensus. In a statement issued yesterday, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC)proudly stated that its negotiations with China were conducted under the framework of the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution and not any "one China" policy. The MAC continued that it has upheld the sovereignty and dignity of Taiwan and that exchanges with China are conducted under the 1992 Consensus, a consensus that everyone (except Ma and his government) acknowledges was made up. ...

Taiwanese Karma or China's Discarding Those It No Longer Needs?

Wednesday February 09

Call it fate, payback or chance, the past Year of the Tiger was not kind to the family of Lien Chan. Though the year officially ended in 2011, by December 2010 the tiger's damage had been done. Was it a belated Taiwanese karma, an example of what goes around, comes around? The Lien family was never known to be fond of the island. This is not to say that they have not profited from Taiwan; in true carpetbagger fashion, they profited immensely, but their hearts always dwelt on the other land across the Taiwan Strait. Thus at years end, Lien Chan was exposed as a patsy for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and his son unfortunately took a bullet in the cheek at a Taiwanese political rally. ...

Ho Hum, Another Insult to Taiwan, Thanks to Ma Ying-joke

Friday February 04

For those who live in Taiwan and even those in other parts of the world, the population has had to listen to the droning pseudo claims of its sometime president Ma Ying-jeou that he has reduced tension in the Taiwan Strait. In one sense, yes tension has been reduced and the answer is simple. China no longer has to put the screws to Taiwan because Ma has kowtowed in obedience to China's whims. Since Taiwan will no longer stand up for its dignity, China can now put the screws to other countries in the region. ...

Creole, Syncretic or Hybrid? Taiwan, Understanding an Identity in Process, Part II

Tuesday January 25

In these troubled times, Taiwanese know they are different but they may not always be able to verbalize how different they are. From the Japanese era on, Taiwanese had begun to gain a unified sense of their difference. At that time, unlike under Qing rule, the Hoklo, Hakka and indigenous people realized that they should not let outside rulers play one group against the other. They became united in forging an identity. Thus, as Taiwan now distances itself from the martial law, propaganda and attempted indoctrination of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) one-party state, its citizens feel more free to claim their true identity - Taiwanese. In this process they should examine three terms, creolism, syncretism and hybridization. ...

Taiwan, Understanding an Identity in Process, Part I

Monday January 24

What is Taiwan's identity? What does it mean to be Taiwanese? At a recent conference in Taiwan, "Democracy Building in Interesting Times" a speaker spoke accordingly, "Here we don't have the issue of one China, two systems; we have the problem of one China and two Taiwans." Mixing humor with reality he succinctly presented the current challenge of Taiwan's identity between its growing pro-independence minded democrats and the leftover unificationists of its one-party state days. ...

Taiwan as the World Turns: the KMT and Gangsters, a Past that Won't Go Away

Saturday January 22

The investigation into the shooting of Sean Lien this past election eve is proving to raise more questions than it is answering. With contradictory claims and accusations as well as questionable methods, Taiwan finds that once again the tawdry and murky world of the relations between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and gangsters is not a thing of the past by any means. This is so despite the thin veneer of respectability with which Ma Ying-jeou always attempts to cloak his party. ...

Breaking News, KMT Secretary General King Pu-tsung Resigns

Tuesday January 18

There apparently is trouble in River City folks as today, KMT Secretary General and chief snake-oil salesman King Pu-tsung resigned without any advance warning, and right after he had admonished a couple of KMT regulars for not being good soldiers. There is certainly more to this that will come out in the coming days; it all depends on how much dirty laundry the KMT and its cohorts will reveal. ...

It is Time to Rid Taiwan or the Many Vestiges of the KMT's One Party State

Monday January 17

In today's world, I know of no investment fund, insurance policies, trust funds or investment brokers that will guarantee their clients a guaranteed 18.5 percent interest income for a year, let alone for life. Yet this is what Taiwan is saddled with from the KMT's one-party state days. It is time for everyone to face up to not only this burden on all the tax-payers of Taiwan, but also to examine carefully how many of the injustices and privileges of the KMT one-party state days still exist in the country. ...

KMT Government Still Out of Step with Policies: What Does it Tell Us?

Sunday January 16

Taiwan has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of foreign students from a wide variety of foreign countries studying at its universities. These students come, take their classes, experience the country and go away richer. But now that the Ma government seeks to get Chinese students into Taiwan universities (providing some with greater benefits than those for Taiwanese themselves), all of a sudden problems arise on the horizon. Any self-respecting Taiwanese should therefore have a lot of questions to ask why its government right hand does not seem to know what the left is doing. ...

KMT 18 Per Cent Party Bonus: Time to Face Up

Thursday January 13

When a minority party such as the KMT with their 2 million people coming to Taiwan in 1949 wishes to control a majority population with a one-party state they need more than guns, martial law, and a dictatorial regime. They need a way to buy off the many people that will run the government, the military, and the schools. The KMT's answer to this was to give them a perk (18 per cent interest on their retirement money)in exchange for letting the KMT control the big money making schemes and kick-backs on all the projects and control over all other financial support given by countries like the USA. ...

Taiwan: Men without Jobs and Other Stories

Friday January 07

In one of those strange cultural matters that are hard to interpret, Shih Ming-teh, a former DPP chairman chose an unusual way to celebrate his 70th birthday on January 15. Shih unveiled a photo of him lying naked with his two naked daughters lying on top of him. The photo is titled "three layers of meat," again a strange way for a father to refer to himself and his two naked daughters. I leave that for Taiwanese to interpret Shih's mind and intentions. What I wish to focus on are two related matters. ...

Taiwan and the 2011 Centennial: 100 years of What?

Tuesday January 04

2011 Yes, 2011 has been designated a centennial year for Taiwan to celebrate; but as it celebrates 100 years, Taiwanese need to examine more closely just what it is that they are being asked to celebrate 100 years of? Certainly 1911 marked the year that the Manchu Empire (a.k.a. the Qing Dynasty) and dynastic rule in China began its final crumbling in the Xinhai Revolution. From that the Republic of China (ROC) was born and on January 1, 1912 Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated provisional president of the new republic. But that republican birth was short-lived. Call it a still birth or abortion since not all provinces agreed with the revolution. In the next month (February) the dictatorial Yuan shih-kai would be the one who forced the actual abdication of the Emperor Puyi and that was in a brokered deal. ...

Lee Teng-hui Celebrates his 90th Birthday: Who Wasn't There?

Monday January 03

Lee Teng-hui, a man who played a key role in helping Taiwan achieve its democracy, celebrated his 90th Birthday. As president of Taiwan from 1988 to 2000, and in helping Taiwan's democracy, Lee made two crucial decisions; first he brought to an end (1992)the iron rice bowl positions of KMT legislators elected in 1947 and second he insisted that the president be elected by the people and not selected by legislators (1996); at that time he would have been guaranteed the position by the KMT dominated legislature but he chose to be elected by the people. ...

Golden Bough Theatre Performs Enjoyable "Sayonara My Love"

Sunday January 02

This recent Christmas Day I had the pleasure to watch the Golden Bough Theatre's thought provoking production of "Sayonoara My Love." The Taiwanese opera-style musical takes place near Jiufan right after WWII ends. Some Taiwanese soldiers int he service of the Japanese Empire are digging for gold and are unaware of the war's end. Along comes a traveling female opera group who stumble upon them. As romance blossoms among some, the women deliberate as to whether or how they should tell the men that the war is over. ...

Sean Lien's Shooting: How Many KMT Are in Bed with Gangsters?

Saturday January 01

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) filed three lawsuits contesting the KMT victories in the elections of the mayors of Taipei City, New Taipei City and Greater Taichung. Did the shooting of Sean Lien by an alleged gangster influence the results of those elections? That is the question of the lawsuits, but there is a deeper question. Who and how many KMT government officials continue to be in bed with gangsters in Taiwan? This is what it appears to be that the police (several of whom are also in bed with gangsters reference the past shootings in Taichung)are trying to slow the investigation and cover up. ...