Thursday, January 10, 2019

“Concerned” People in Glass House

Opening Ceremony of a re-education camp in Lopnur County.jpg
  
     There are a number of news organizations, such as the BBC and Reuters, partial to the United States and NATO’s point-of-view, saying that there are inhumane policies in China that deny its people freedom of expression, as if the government policies and media of the West safeguarded these liberties for us, a notion that Edward Snowden and other whistle-blowers have proven wrong; the teapot is calling the kettle black. Concerned people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. 

            These media outlets warn us about Muslim detention camps in Xinjiang that the Chinese government says are education centers; that they are really internment camps. Ex-inmates tell of abuses and torture of the one million ethnic minorities, the Uighurs, Kazakhs, victims of “intensive political indoctrination.”


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“It is not mistreatment,” Li Xiaojun, the director for publicity at the Bureau of Human Rights Affairs of the State Council Information Office, told reporters. “What China   is doing is to establish professional training centers – educational centers.”

Li added: “If you do not say it’s the best way, maybe it’s the necessary way to deal with Islamic or religious extremism, because the west has failed in doing so. Look at Belgium, look at Paris, and look at some other European countries. You have failed.”
According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on Monday, former detainees described being denied food, being shackled or forced to stand for 24 hours, and being subjected to solitary confinement and sleep deprivation.”
Amazing that, percentage wise, American prisons educate so many more.
My friend tried to bait me: “So you feel these camps are justified? Seems reminiscent of Jews in Nazi camps. Neither group was trying to control the State.”
“No, not slave labor for the private American archipelago; there's no way to rehab a whole nation of drug addicts, thanks to big Pharma.”
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   My troll wanted to keep the ball in his court. ”I am not asking you about the American opioid crisis, which I agree with you on, but the camps in China for Muslims.”

I pointed out that he knew more about the opioid crisis and prisons for profit than reeducation camps in China. I reminded him that China has been targeted often with foreign intervention bent on destroying its society. If the Chinese government. feels there is a need to protect its borders, I agree with it. China would have gone the way of Native Americans if it had let the foreign powers have their way and intoxicate their citizens. In Taiwan, the U.S. was complicit in dropping two million foreign ruling class invaders and with the 228 massacre of Taiwanese intellectuals and thus destroyed any chance of Taiwanese independence. I believe it would be best for you to be concerned and active with righting the wrongs of the U.S. govt. rather than being fearful of a sovereign nation protecting its borders from religious and political turmoil.
My personal American troll defended himself: “If they had left them alone it would not be part of China," he said flippantly like he supported automomy. His Taiwanese wife's father from China was one of the KMT [soldiers] that came over in 1949. "Although he was not perfect (none of us are)," he texted,  "he was not ruling class and killed no intellectuals.” I texted back he was probably shanghaied there with Chiang Kai-Sheks retreasting army.
My troll complained about Muslim camps in Xinjiang so I reminded him about other ethnic leansing closer to home. Here is an article by Dolores Cox posted on December 19, 2018:
“In Australia,  too, Aboriginal people are estimated to be only about 3 percent of the population now, yet they make up 27 percent of the prison population. According to Australia’s Justice Project, their radicalized incarceration rate is 13 times that of the white prison population. (tinyurl.com/ybdq7g6z). Aboriginal people also have higher arrest rates than whites, more convictions and a greater likelihood of imprisonment. Non-Indigenous prisoner rates have not increased since 2008.
The Australian Indigenous have experienced dispossession, exclusion from education and employment, and displacement. Only about 10 percent of Aborigines speak their native language. Only 59 percent of Indigenous youth ages 15-18 attend school, with just 34 percent graduating. And just 8.5 percent attend universities. Aboriginal home ownership is approximately 39 percent, and average income is only two-thirds that of non-Indigenous people.
Parallels in Racism
Parallels exist between the actions of white Europeans and European-descended Americans when it comes to the treatment of people of color worldwide. The U.S. was colonized in the 1600s by European settlers, resulting in the massacre, destruction of property and wholesale displacement of Indigenous people who had inhabited the land for thousands of years. Today, Native peoples comprise only about 2 percent of the U.S. population.
The U.S. has only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet jails 25 percent of the world’s total prisoner population. Similar to Australia, racial disparities dominate in the U.S. African Americans comprise approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population, yet 34 percent of prisoners are African-American men, women and children. Black men are incarcerated at nearly 6 times the rate of white men. And their prison sentences are 19 percent longer.”
Not liking the taste of his own medicine of my post to him, he reacted: “I like the image you sent, but not on my timeline.”
“And I not your negative comments on my posts,” I said
“Maybe you are right,” he patronized. “I could have messaged you about it, sorry. You can delete them.”
 I admitted to him I was selective in Facebook about what I see. All comments from friends cut me deeply and I wanted to respond, but so often a sarcastic friend, only out to support America and break my point-of-view down becomes a personal troll, not friendly at all; privately messaging me is better if a friend really wants to discuss politics.
Another instance was concerning a Workers World Party Facebook post. I said I supported the party that has always been there for workers and defending any communism, no matter how far from the theory they’d become.  A former Fellow Worker anarchist reminded me, “Sam Marcy supported the Soviet invasion of Hungary to crush the workers councils there.” As a product of the time, I would support Russia now if Ukraine wanted war.
In another instance, I read a post that said dozens of steel workers had been arrested in Iran, for protesting unpaid wages and government corruption - but they were still striking and taking to the streets to avoid arrests. “Workers at the National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz have been on strike since November 9. Homes have been raided at night and arrests have been made without warrants.”
            I say, sometimes, the solidarity of the state takes precedence over divisive factors, especially when it is under siege by NATO/USA/Israel. This is why I support any nation that counts those three imperialist states as enemies; one job at a time. Capitalist imperialism and fascism must be defeated first.
Some guy chided me in a comment: “So you are on the side of the Islamic fascist regime of the mullahs against the workers. The Iranian workers, of course, know better who their enemies are. And these are not the US and Israel. Congratulations and peace of your ashes.”
To this concerned citizen of the world I replied, “You, by sharing a labournet.tv and iranwire.com post  should be aware that though workers suffer all over the world, realize who is blowing the whistle on which nation's labor issues and their ulterior motives. If you are against "Islamic fascist regime of the mullahs against the workers" perhaps you are in favor of U.S. imperialism and destruction of U.S. anti-unionism and workers' rights. Clean up your own backyard. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones or accuse a stranger who you know nothing about.
But since an injury to one is an injury to all, I don’t hesitate to share posts from the China Labour Bulletin, although they conveniently don’t discuss labor issues in Taiwan. I shared “Global Support for Disappeared Left Activists in China is feeling angry” which issued a bulletin: “URGENT! In the past week, another wave of mass arrest was carried out by the police. 9 more comrades of Jasic worker support group were taken away!”
 My personal troll, playing dumb, asked, “Why are these good comrades being arrested?”
“Better to ask,” I responded, "Why are there no comrades in Taiwan being arrested?" These workers dared to stand up against workplace abuses, and there are thousands in China but workers in Taiwan, who are abused, even more so, with salaries that haven't kept up with inflation in 18 years, don't dare to organize because of KMT gangsters and American obstruction via the DPP.
   For this reason, I choose to ignore the so-called “Joint Declaration by the Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan within the Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee.
Since some people care so much about genocide and indigenous rights, and some are Jewish victims of one, like I am, I think readers might like to be reminded of the backyard they could clean up before worrying about the indigenous rights of Taiwanese natives, most of whom vote KMT, were co-opted by local corrupt politicians, and are being used again for sympathy against reunification. There are not any official spokesmen of these tribes; this is anti-Chinese propaganda. The vote buying and Stockholm effect from Christian missionaries who deluded them and burned their icons is more correct in the assessment of a people who are mostly assimilated, many alcoholic, and disinherited by the DPP and KMT. Again, I urge you to consider aiding a local indigenous population to soothe their savage souls.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Election Campaigns in Taiwan

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        Novermber 24, 2018 was Election Day in Taiwan, not “national” but local except for 10 non-binding referendums mostly put forth by KMT or Christian groups. The most important referendum, independence for Taiwan, is taboo; everyone knows what that secret ballot result would be. The other referendums, mostly pro or con sex education (that includes gay inclusion) are redundant because the legislature has already passed the gay equal rights law. The one referendum I would vote for is changing the official international sports competitors name back to “Taiwan” from “Chinese Taipei”, a move that would irk China but is the closest people here can get to supporting autonomy.
     Mayor Ko in Taipei, running for his second term, was compromised by the DPP this time; they are running their own candidate instead of supporting his ‘no-party’ campaign. Mayor Ko is the closest thing Taiwan has to making compromise with China for the benefit of the Taiwanese people who lack a country and remain a quasi-colony of the United States. Tsai Ying-Wen is in the U.S. camp and will not do the right thing and reach out to China for the best deal in reunification. An interesting election, in two years, would be for president if Tsai Ying-Wen is dropped in favor of the unabashedly independent former mayor of Tainan, Lai Ching-De, who is now in the president’s cabinet. If Mayor Ko wins today he would probably run for President in two years. It could set up a show-down over rational reunification (not pandering under KMT leadership, as Ma- Ying-Jyou did) with Ko Wen-Je and a true independence advocate, Lai Ching-De who could run as an Independence Party candidate if the DPP’s Tsai Ying-Wen refuses to give in from her laissez-faire U.S. control of Taiwan’s future.
Locally, standing DPP mayor Lin Jia-Lung of Taichung, Taiwan’s second largest city, and Tsen Chi-Mai from Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s third largest, are running against corrupt KMT candidates. Every city has mayoral candidates that, generally speaking, represent corrupt local factions, some more blatant than others. There is a paucity of candidates that would put the peoples’ interest against their own friend-networking. The spectacle of the campaigns, with little content of policy, is only stimulating the economy of island-wide TV stations and advertisers raking in revenue and further drowning out any real democracy in Taiwan. As Paul Simon pointed out about election campaigns in the song “Mrs. Robinson”: “Laugh about it, shout about when it’s time to choose, any way you look at it, you lose.”

The Morning After

Our mayor Lin lost as did the DPP mayors in every city but Tainan and Taoyuan. Mr. Ko won in Taipei over the KMT candidate by the skin of his teeth prompting a re-count. The DPP candidate syphoned many votes that would have helped him win more easily. Ten non-binding referendum brought chaos to the polling places with many voters turning away in confusion; the poll assistants at my wife’s location wondered why she was only voting on one; why not all ten? The KMT supported referendum all won, too, with Taiwanese commoners, spurred on by the Christian conservatives, wondering why being gay was such a big issue to the DPP. We know it was a red herring to grab youthful energy away from the main problem: no good-paying jobs. Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Ko is in a re-count with the KMT candidate, the one who got as many votes as the last KMT loser in 2014, the difference being the votes syphoned off by the DPP loser. There are no lessons to be learned; only cooperation with cultural cohorts to be furthered.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

TADIT’s Attack on My Anti-Prejudice Post

     On August 15, 2018, I posted “Hsinchu Titans Cricket Wins in Taiwan”.  It is an article about how minorities such as Indians, make happiness within their minority group in Taiwan and it calls for the majority Taiwanese, and other minorities, to support each other’s efforts. I thanked the five netizens who ‘liked’ my post on “Teachers against Discrimination in Taiwan” Facebook page; still other readers not in the habit of licking ‘like’ enjoyed my diligent article.
          Ten days after being posted, I was notified of a public comment attached to that post from Don Johnson who “manages the members and posts” for TADIT. She wrote, “Please read the purpose of this group and its Manifesto and then voluntarily remove your post which is irrelevant to the goals and purposes of this group. If you have any questions, PM me.
          I went back to review the group guidelines: “TADIT was created for the purpose of promoting equality in the hiring practices of English teachers in Taiwan.”
Publically, I responded, “Many posts here have no relevancy to the promotion of expat teachers' rights in Taiwan.” Privately, I wrote, “This article, which I graciously posted to TADIT relates to a minority that is discriminated against and thus does warrant exposure here.”
Annie Chen, the administrator of the group wrote in October 2014, wrote: “We encourage all RELEVANT discussion, commentary, and critical analysis on our wall and in our group, but we are also proactive in maintaining the group's integrity. TADIT will not tolerate any comments which are seen as derogatory, racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic and/or insulting. Also, as we are a family friendly forum, we ask that you make your best judgment when posting topics and comments and refrain from using profanity.”
I looked again at a vicious profane posted since July 31st by David Black which began, “Racist assholes keep pouring kitchen shit on my property…” and noticed, finally, Don Johnson had gotten around to seeing the derogatory and warned Mr. Black as she had warned me.
                I have had no problem posting appropriate articles I wrote to this site before; indeed, on July 15 I posted “Rainbow Gathering Paints Taiwan Black In Bloom” about a self-described ‘family’ of privileged drifters that call themselves “Rainbow Gathering” that descended onto Taiwan in the spring and chose to share a prejudicial article on their Facebook. Without adhering closely to the groups stated mission, it remained up.
                Scrolling down I noticed that half of the posts didn’t adhere to the mission statement including a number of posts by another administrator, Andrew Bunting who although a written about prejudices, were not specific to Teachers in Taiwan. “TADIT,” he admonished readers, “the world needs you now as it always has, but the stakes are at an all-time high. What are you doing to confront racism? In February Mr. Bunting threw his lot in with the ANTIFA movement receiving twelve ‘likes’ (including mine) and forty-two comments, mostly positive. Naturally I was to think that this wonderful site would champion all who experienced prejudices, teachers in Taiwan or otherwise.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

He's Got to be Keating Me

      On June 2, 2018, I wrote to Jerome Keating Ph. D  when I noticed he liked a poem I posted on Facebook. Jerome is an elderly teacher living in Taiwan since 1988. 
“Hi Jerome. We met and you autographed Mapping of Taiwan at the International Book Expo in Taipei. Thank you for liking my poem. Be well,” I wrote.
         “I remember that,” he replied. “Hope that you also liked the Map book and how  economies often lead to coveted geographies." 
       “I do like the whole jist of your project. I have some questions. You don't refer to Mr. Seldon's Map of China. Why?”
        “Not sure which map you are referring to?” he replied.
       The author [Timothy Brook] rediscovered a map brought to Oxford library in the 17th century, I said. The map shows that China was the first to know about, trade through, and map the South China Sea. Being an apologist for U.S. hegemonic Asian policy and a detractor of Chinese sea rights in building up navel outposts there, perhaps Dr. Keating was playing dumb. "I think that book must have been published too late for you to reference in yours,” I said leaving him a way out.
          Instead of admitting he wasn’t aware of the book or map, or worse, denying and covering up what the map told the world, he must have Googled it, thought fast and came back with an educated response.
          “Yes on a couple of counts. 1) The book came out after my book was first published and 2) the map is a composite and it is unsure who put it together and when &. 3) while it definitely talks of trade routes etc. my book focuses more on how Taiwan got on the map; so though I was aware of it by the time the bi-lingual version came out; there was not enough there to specifically relate to my focus. That said, the map does show the awareness and importance of trade in the early 17th century.”
          “But you will refer to it in the second edition, won't you?” I chided. “The map doesn't look composite.”
          “The map seems to be as I say a composite, where someone who was into trade, put together a couple of existing maps.” He was bullish now. I scanned and sent him a copy of the map to see for himself that it was not a composite and did, indeed, include Taiwan on its radar. 
         On July 1, 2018, I was bored and texted Keating Ph.D. while sitting up the river. “What are the politics looking like in Taichung?” he had texted me once. I threw back to the question  about Taipei. 
“I have a piece that will be in the Taipei Times this week--it says Ko-P is going down,” he replied.
“I don't read any English news from Taiwan. I look to socialist and worker union perspectives on the topic," I wrote.
“I don't read Chinese," he replied, "but I belong to many groups. I listen to friends whose opinions I trust, and I constantly look at the difference between what politicians say and do. That said, Ko-p's biggest disadvantage here is that he has no party and has depended more on swing vote. Will send the op-ed when it is out.”  
 Keating Ph. D  supports the DPP and the U.S. CIA in not liking  Mayor Ko going to Shanghai to show friendship and make peace for Taiwan.To him, Mayor Ko's "swing vote" implies he is a KMT and supporter of Chinese rapprochement.
“My op-ed would never be printed by any English newspaper in Taiwan,” I simply replied. 
“You need to see my book on Paradigms,” he replied like a salesman.
“Thank you. And you can read my writings at www.readingsandridings.jimdo.com. All gratuities go to Kiva,” I shot back.
He didn’t know about Kiva so I sent him a link to the site that forwards investment loans to poor people around the world.
“Suggested donation $2.00 a story or article, $10 a book,” I said.
He replied with two gratuitous thumbs-up and sent me the link to his book instead. It had become a stand-off over his book and mine.
Then I laid it on the line: “If I buy Paradigms will you donate to the cause of my choice, Kiva, for example?”
“I have to examine Kiva more; I seldom donate to causes unless I have been involved in them and know the people; too often burned,” he responded trying to weasel out.
“Suit yourself. You already owe me one for buying Mapping of Taiwan at a premium price LOL.” I wasn’t really laughing out loud; I felt offended. He winked back like it was an inside joke but I still wasn’t laughing.
So he was saying I should buy a book he wrote but he doesn't have to look at my website or donate a penny to read mine because he doesn’t trust a cause I would donate the profit to? That’s some paradigm!
I wrote this blog piece about J. Keating Ph. D.'s certainty and disregard for my experience and knowledge and because I disagree with his viewpoint. Jerome is my elder and a great writer; I do respect him, but he was condescending to me. I have, after all, been teaching longer than he has, here and New York City, written as much, and have more teaching experience including college teaching experience; two years in Taiwan from '84-86, but I’m not in competition with him for pretension. I had lived in Taiwan a full ten years before he came onto the scene, and I can speak and read Mandarin, a skill he admits not acquiring despite his Taiwanese spouse and longevity here. 
          China detractors have the sway in the English media in Taiwan; in Facebook groups, and academics, except for the old KMT stalwart China Times. Expats seeking the truth about Taiwan and China must be on their guard. Few here will give you the right direction.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Sanders: The Red Herring that Swam Upstream

I saw an example of an artist's photo shop that showed a beheaded Hilary Clinton with her daughter looking like a zombie, her husband cuddling another woman, and sent it to my friend that regularly sends photo shop mock-ups of Trump and his supporters. He was offended and asked me never to send that to him again.. I think the Clinton mock-up is as nasty as some my friend has sent of Trump beheaded or with bloody hands, and  I don't condone or share those photos on my Facebook page. I am an Industrial Worker of the World and care for all workers' rights, not American politics.  I  agree with direct action solutions such as boycotts, strikes, and job actions, and I believe that racist bootlickers must be met in the street to defend workers' rights. The tearing down of statues is foolish ; Washington and who else wasn't a racist American "Father"?

A return to business-as-usual two-party state, even without the antics of this fool, Trump, is not the solution for getting living wages for all; something not addressed by either party. My concern is the welfare of my children and friends who are still of working age in the U.S. 

If someone thinks a return to politics with a Democrat as president, will help workers, they are mistaken. 

Bernie Sanders can say whatever he wants, but the fact is, he blew the chance to do something to help the people of America; he's as much to blame as the Democratic Party for giving in when he should have been standing up. 

Let's look for a real socialist who can bore into the system and have a chance. Sanders is a red herring

Put yourself in Bernie's place. If I were near the pinnacle of power to represent the socialist sway of American politics, environmentalism and decency in living wage... If I knew I had followers and platform there was a campaign against me that would result in a neo-liberal or fool into the White House, would I have given up and said, ":I will play by the rules?" No. Sanders was certainly as guilty as the Democratic party because he went along with the Democratic Party. Don't waste any time resurrecting this red herring that swam upstream and spawned nothing. Find a new socialist, or social democrat that can lead the U.S. out of imperialism and capitalism.

 A socialist system isn't the way you think it is; Bernie is no Socialist and won't upset the apple cart of US politics. It's the lack of funds due to defense spending against imperialist states like the U.K., France, and USA why socialist nations haven't had a chance to take root. Bernie won't stop that. 

Castro led an island under siege but still managed to have equality of its people and enough doctors to send to help countries with disasters. Bernie couldn't do that. A controlled economy that has all the people's best interests at heart is what governments are for. Bernie couldn't do that, either. 

 Both you nor I have lived in socialist or  states but I met many Russian and Chinese ex-pats in NY; they confirm that many people in Russia and China wish socialism was back. They refuted U.S. propaganda that there were no bread or toilet paper. Collective decision making and workplaces, run by the people, 
made many happy. Bernie could never do that in the U.S. 

 As we see social services dwindling in capitalist countries burdened with IMF/WTO/NAFTA loans that the common people had no choice in making, we can see how important collective decision making is and how the capitalist governments have let their constituents down. Meanwhile, China's wages and living standard are increasing after the Western Boycott; Vietnam is recovering after a hundred years of colonialism as are many nations in South America and Africa. They have chosen socialists, not "Social Democrats" as Bernie likes to call himself.  In the case of Cuba and Venezuela, they have chosen to have a single party to ward off interference and subterfuge from the U.S. corporations that hates to give up easy money, slave wages, and plundered natural resources. No politician in the U,S, can dio that without a mass workers' movement and revolution. Bernie is no Che Guevera. 

 I did a lot of research about Germany between 1918 and 1924. I am certain that the Nazi's wouldn't have come to power if the capitalists hadn't backed them and slaughtered socialist instead. The history of capitalism is exploitation and the propaganda machine that deludes people to go against their class interest. Bernie Sanders is a red herring; he is part of the system that spawned him. 

Forget about political "choice" in the U.S. There is only one solution to the quagmire: Workers organize collectively. The people united will never be defeated.  



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Taiwanese Know Who Wrote the Book on Meddling




"Open Treason" eh? "A groveling President Trump," eh? "Not meddling in the election was persuasive" eh? New York's Democratic tabloid mouthpiece, a real champion of the common people, says "Trump backs enemy Putin over U.S. Intel." Well, how about that? 

So important is the news that the Daily News put it on the cover, with a cartoon, and pages 6-8 and 22; is that before or after the soccer finals? I read that treason is the only charge that would have him and his VP and entire cabinet removed, but Americans still get to keep all the sellout senators and congressmen, and governors and mayors and judges. The revolution will not be broadcasted or put on the cover of the Daily News; to save the union for push-me pull-you Democrats or mid-term elections is not a good substitute for complete regime change, and that don't come without blood; nyet.

Ruskies couldn't care less what an oligarchy does and the USA wrote the book; after all, capitalism defeated socialism in the USSR, not the other way around. The allies defeated Fascism  because their fascism was more enduring.  I'll take a slow vote to China and ride the Silk Road back to Belarus. Any way we look at it, the people united will never be defeated and this is just another splint rail in the ax swing. I'm sticking with the union and the spirits of socialism to rise again worldwide. 

"US has intervened in foreign elections for decades, including leaking stolen documents. . . nations regularly try to influence elections and this is nothing new for the United States, either as the culprit or as the target of such efforts.”Jonathan Turley

In Taiwan, Trump is seen as a dangerous clown by most, especially China supporters, and as royalty by the American leaning business community; I guess being a liar and ignorant is as much a privilege of the rich as sexual harassment of women is; there is plenty of that here. However, most people understand how the U.S. has divided people; they applauded the reapproachment of North and South Korea for regional stability, some out of jealousy that this reunification could happen between Taiwan and China, too. They sense how detrimental the U.S. is to its own people and to world peace. 

It is a pleasure reading The Boxer Rebellion by D. Preston. It is fun reading about how the Christian missionaries and carpetbaggers got their asses whipped at the turn of the 20th century. It set a precedent for China to take back its sovereignty from the European and American Imperialists, though not fast enough for the Japanese that had to pick up the slack until after WWII when America and France tried to take it back supporting their fascist puppets in civil wars with the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese Communists. The fight goes on. China is the only power keeping the U.S./NATO from domination of the world economically and socially through the cult of death: Christianity.


The meme I posted a few days ago, “One of the luxuries of living in Taiwan is not having to see Trump” got a number of thumbs-up, but one local scalawag quipped that was only until China made a deal with Trump for hotel rights; I replied I would check in if that happened. My point is that aside from independence for Taiwan, autonomy with China is better for the working class here than dependency on the U.S.with a racist, neo-liberal two-party facade of democracy. 

 Copyright © 2018 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Rainbow Gathering Paints Taiwan Black In Bloom


          In Bloom, which calls itself “an online magazine covering activism and youth politics in Taiwan and the Asia Pacific,” posted an article in its June 2018 issue by its editor, Brian Hioe, entitled “After Huashan Murder, Attempts to Scapegoat Creatives on Pitt and in Taiwanese Media” pandering to what it calls “the wake of the Sunflower Movement.” Let’s get this straight: there was no Sunflower Movement to have a wake from; there was no tsunami from co-opted youth used to do the Democratic Progressive Party’s bidding before the 2015 Taiwan presidential election (see my blog article,  This Stinking Taiwan Kettle of Fish)
          That being said, the In Bloom article is not wrong in highlighting what is a major problem in Confucian societies in Asia: misogyny. The “top-down” philosophy that has been the crux of disempowerment to youth and the poor, and has marginalized women since the dawn of society, in feudal, communist, and capitalist ruling classes is not, as Hioe says, in opposition to “a group of artists and young people [who] applied for use of the space from the city government, forming something like a small artists’ commune.” This 'commune' is an unorganized hodge-podge lending itself to chaos and eventual top-down re-creation. Hioe, editor of In Bloom, does not himself obey collective decision making at his own on-line magazine, as he may be wont to admit. But this is not my point. My point is that a self-described ‘family’ of privileged drifters that call themselves “Rainbow Gathering” descended onto Taiwan in the spring and chose to share Hioe’s article on their Facebook page to defend themselves from such criticism; they throw their lot with In Bloom in pointing the blame for the murder at Taiwanese men, exonerating themselves. Of course, they don't mention the low wages of over-worked men or the financial demands put on them in love relationships. 
The "In Bloom" article Rainbow Gathering posted:
The tragedy of the murder and dismemberment a 30-year-old woman named Gao occurring in the 120 Grassroots Self-Autonomous Zone should be taken for what it is; a deranged young man, perhaps drunk with male entitlement, perhaps just drunk, and the reaction of horrified Taiwanese, not to place the blame on the small group of youth, as Hioe thinks, but on lun-chi-ba-zhao living in general; where there are no rules, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, in the public’s collective mind. There is no reason to get defensive or call youth scapegoats for a problem that is prevalent worldwide so long as a natural laissez-faire goes unguided, indeed rewarded, by society. But, again, this is not my point. Let me get back to the Taiwan Rainbow Gathering Facebook page administrator’s posting Hioe’s article while questioning my submission to the page, a submission that didn’t jive with his group’s self-image.
My article that Rainbow Gathering refused to post:
All through the spring I watched as privileged pilgrims, polluting the skies and earth, got lost finding the way to a chaotic gathering in Taiwan, for some reason, chosen by organizers. The jet-set pilgrims couldn't find the location up to the advertised start of the gathering because of the lack of 'consensus,' as they call the substitute for egalitarian democracy. Some guy named Jacobsen seemed to be running the show and was the man behind approving a half dozen poems I had written and shared with the site. Even after the Gathering disbanded, the site stayed up. A few days ago, I shared an article I wrote about my experiences with Taiwanese youth who were practicing English by learning how to improve the city, organize society, and become activists. Instead of winning approval, the content of the article was deemed “unrelated” to the Gathering by its new Facebook page administrator, some guy named Brian Alexander, whose main job is being an entrepreneur for some start-up English “radio” program called “Funshine.” Twice, he asked me to defend my posting the article, so I did, explaining that it was about how the youth in Taiwan could learn to deal with life in the city on their way to collective decision making and even communal living. Alexander had made up his mind, autonomously, not by consensus. My article wasn’t posted and I was removed from the Facebook group for defending my post!
I demand my poems of promise be removed from the Taiwan Rainbow Gathering Facebook page.
I have written a poem to celebrate the folk who deal with real life and shun the dreaming delusion of Rainbow Gatherings. Every English reader in Taiwan, and soon first-language speakers, will know how In Bloom and Rainbow Gathering blamed them for misogyny when the police removed a similar gathering after a person was murdered and dismembered there. That article was deemed relevant to Rainbow Gathering Facebook page; how vindictive and childish.
The public should note, "Funshine" English Radio, is run by such an outlook and will, by association, suffer lose in listener-ship from indignant Taiwanese who see the true color upheld by permitting a slur against Taiwanese in deference to communal living.
By blocking the dissemination of solutions for a true course for children to deal with city life, Taiwan Rainbow Gathering's administrator perpetuates the problem of top-down decision making.

 The poem:

the family gathers over the rainbow of Taiwan
high above the yellow horde proletariat of Hualien
black undertones of misogynist blame
privileged drifters' vengeful claim
permitting posting on their page for distaste
left on Taiwanese lips for the dismemberment waste
surely it was one of the sick Taiwanese men
and not one of the colorful among them...
democracy replaced by vague consensus
backpacking new-agers shouldering expenses
smoke screening cigarettes allowing pretenses
banned canine unleashing exclusions
for the primitive pleasure of field defecation
a tax and fee free squatting vacation
leaving jet fuel traces in the wake
leaving litter and bitterness in what they take
leaving the urban world for squalor
should visit a ghetto and leave a dollar
or better yet school young innocence
on how to survive without paying red cents
instead of banning this brother for suggesting
it is better to learn survival than to be guesting
off charity and a collective pot
that ties societies into a knot
my green lovers of natural flow
sans raw meat that the paleo know
shun me not with your rainbow pout
come back to reality and work it out

 Copyright © 2018 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved.