Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The USA: An Enemy of the People


            My Pittsburgh friend, Marc, who works for the post office, says the postmaster general is a Trump crony. “Too bad the Dems sabotaged Bernie in 2016 or this might not have happened,” was a shared comment my Young Democrat daughter ignored. Guess which president started dismantling the US Post Office; starts with an ‘Oh’, as in “Oh how rotten American democracy has become. We are truly the enemy of the people for pointing this out, Republican and Democrat people alike.

Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a “Friday Night Massacre for the US Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy — a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General — had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of top executives from key posts and the reshuffling of more than two dozen other officials and operational managers. Even if today (Aug.19) he backed off the demolition until after Election Day, I don’t believe it.  I am an enemy of the American people.

When the Democratic Party stops sabotaging progressive candidates, I'll stop laughing. Some think Biden in our time is better than showing the true colors of a racist, fascist, Christian oligarchy. With Clinton at his inauguration  insulting Stokley Carmichael (Kwame Ture) in his eulogy to John Lewis and explicitly thanking James Clyburn "for ending, with a stroke of his hand," the Sanders campaign, I'll take the third choice: Revolution. Trump must not go on but the best is not yet to come. Kwame Ture, in death, is still an enemy of the people.

Now, anything would be better than a dictatorship which would be harder to fight than a dysfunctional neoliberal state. I changed my driver’s license address so I can kill three birds with one stone; the third, a Trump bird. It would be nice to spend two or three weeks in Pittsburgh, voting and seeing three of my adult children, one with my two grandchildren. I would visit my youngest adult daughter in Portland, OR, before heading back to Taiwan for a two week quarantine.

If this wasn’t bad enough, Trump has threatened an executive order to end payroll tax, the tax that mostly funds Medicaid and Social Security. It is hard being a witness to a nation of frogs being slowly boiled alive. Radical friends know what is going on and what the ruling-class plan is for US citizens. One friend and I argued over when the dismantling of the dream began; was it after Eisenhower, after Kennedy was assassinated and Hoffa disappeared? Was it when after an anti-war struggle being won by the troops returning from Vietnam joining students and minority and women’s rights advocates was clamped down by Nixon’s resignation and pardon? Was it union membership plummeting on the attack, Patco de-certified and workers fired while taxes on the rich dwindled thanks to Reagan laws?

One cannot put a finger on the first case; I think the fish stinks from the head; Washington. What has been obvious to me since junior high school is still unclear; radicals are still the enemy of the people. To others, despite catastrophic indicators of imminent doom like green flesh floating in broth off the frogs’ boiling backs, it seems salvageable, but there is a clear choice to us: Either Americans fight back or exodus to save their families and themselves and fight from abroad, or simply start living a better life.

Howard Zinn might cringe but this is how it happened: The Stock Market crashed and The Great Depression started in 1929. The US government handled the Hoovervilles after WWI just as they handled the aspirations of rising unionists and victory before the First World War. The IWW was hounded, Eugene Debs was imprisoned, Big Bill Hayward arrested and sought asylum in the USSR. VP Wallace was marginalized and McCarthyism put socialism on the run again. Viet vets realized they were duped and joined the peace movement as Nixon made pals with the AFL-CIO that were in their beds, until Nixon was pardoned. Any progress made toward an equitable society squelched. Reagan nailed it in the 80's but progressives re-emerged in the 90's after Nicaragua, Granada, and El Salvador threatened fascism again. That's why they needed the benign neglect of a 911 attack to put national guard on the people's streets and 6 trillion dollars (3 from Bush, 3 from Obama) "to save our way of life" squelched any trend toward socialism. AFL-CIO unions played along giving back hard fought gains; the buy-out I took early retirement left young teachers and students unprotected, tenure-less, dumbed-down and tier 5. This controllable pandemic was left to decimate the common people once and for all and completely showed the USA's real colors since inception, as a fascist racist Christian imperialist state. More Americans realize what is going on but they are deer in headlights. The USA people are doomed. But radicals such as I are the enemy of the people.

You and I are the last generation to know the prospects of democracy. They've taken off the kid gloves. It's up to the young men and women who will spend their lifetimes suffering and insecure, increasingly in debt. My children are realists, contributing to the betterment of society, but they are not activists. It will take pitchforks and blood in the streets, fascist blood hopefully; CNN, NBC, the NY Times and Democratic Party don't care about The People. It is up to us. 

I want to see my grandchildren and my family this fall of an election year but I don't have to be there; I can vote by mail. Trump must be defeated and kept from starting a dictatorship. It is up to the Democrat Party; only they have the political power to respond and lead the charge. I'm afraid they won't; they haven't yet, in face sabotaging Bernie Sanders twice. I feel the US is doomed to racist dictatorship, its true colors. My Vietnam vet friend says only the military can stop them, but no one thinks like us. We know that the USA is the enemy of the people.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Can Americans and Expats in Taiwan Stop the U.S. Slide into Fascism?

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Will the American people do anything to stop their nation's slide into fascism? The Democratic Party helped Trump win in 2016 by sabotaging Bernie Sanders and offering a weak candidate. Why would they start helping now? They’re doing it again. It takes a radical mindset greater force to stop the downward spiral. My adult children don’t have it in them. Most young adults don’t. Will they do anything radical if Trump steals the election or cancels it? They're making monkeys out of all of us. 

Liberals don't want to realize the Democrats are in bed with the Republicans in keeping Big Pharma and the U.S. corporate power structure intact. Prolonging the pandemic is a way to make a killing on the market and keep people off the streets so they can't organize a resistance. It seems, to all but his family, the Floyd murder and reaction was a fluke. The CIA and corporate media have it already co-opted. Who is sending unmarked cars with military thugs abducting protesters in Portland? It is probably not just Trump’s decision. Unless the judiciary and Democratic Party does something radical to condemn this gestapo tactic, they are part of it. CNN and the corporate media is gas-lighting us.

CNN broadcasted news that one African-American TV shock-jock was fired for saying something anti-Semitic. I don’t know what he said but if it was akin to Amiri Baraka’s “Somebody Blew Up America”, it may have been right-on. I saw an African-American anchor on CNN hosting three commentators condemning the shock-jock and “all racism”, but they didn’t mention Arabs were Semites, too, and all called Judaism a “race” when it is a religion; they all perpetuated the anti-Semitic myth in the same breath condemning it. CNN is part of the problem; the crux of corporate media and co-option.

The liberal corporate media, like CNN and most networks, are inciting fear of COVID-19 for the purpose of helping Biden win the election in November. I bet that after the election, but before Biden takes office, an incident [this written before unmarked goons started abducting citizens in Portland] will be created to “handcuff” the Democrats to keep up their neoliberal “good-cop-bad-cop” routine, like they did with Obama and Bush II; they are on the same team but those that think their vote counts don’t want to believe it. Obama gave a trillion dollars of tax money to prop up the banks; same as Bush did. Only after the two-party ruse is overthrown and the U.S. nuclear threat broken up, they we live free. Meanwhile Trump war-mongers against China and hate crimes against Asians is skyrocketing.    

Mainland China may never be my home, as I live my days 129 miles away in renegade Provence, Taiwan,  but my mind recognizes its effort to keep socialism alive as it helps US imperialism capitalism kill itself, literally. COVID-19 may have been a conspiracy theorist dream but the ends is justifying the means if civil war ends the US reign of terror on the world, with its own ignorant people collateral damage. China has its torrential plum rains, caused by industrial revolution recklessness to deal with. I side with China for having the fortitude to help their own people, influencing Taiwan to do so, too, and standing up to imperialist propaganda.

Speaking of propaganda, My Brooklyn comrade, an artist in arms, read the communication with a group of friends in Pittsburgh and responded with news and photos about his friend’s art exhibit in New York City. It is  great to see positive stuff like this. I would certainly go if I was in town. You know I think of you when I look through the coffee table sized book collection of George Catlin's Indian art, though he was a Barnum & Bailey exploiter, we get the benefit of his failed greed. I can't read Indigenous People's History of the United States without looking for a portrait of the destroyed person or scene he depicted. I got a beautiful collection called Chinese Propaganda Posters, all messages of which I agree with, though they are sold as sterile passé art. I believe art does serve a purpose and is not frivolous; even the mansions of Newport, of broken Gilded Aged tycoons are good for what they left, not only architecture but the message they present to future generations, if used by progressive societies. I DO NOT like the tearing down of statues that could simply have written underneath a plaque describing what racists or fascists the depicted icon was. I'm not happy they tore down temples in China that could have been re-used for the people or become museums. Again, I appreciate your art and sensibility and solidarity and always will. Thank you again for caring and using your talent for the good of mankind. 

He replied that it was lucky I got out and sent a post about police brutality in NYC. 

Back in early March I asked my daughter in Pittsburgh if she wanted me to send masks. She said no. A few weeks later when she changed her mind the Taiwan post office would let any masks mailed overseas; they were all needed for use here. The ban was lifted a month ago and I sent masks immediately to my adult children. Two are employed in government jobs (public defender, Penn Hospital) from home near Pittsburgh but my son destitute from the streets of LA I am supporting during counseling in Pittsburgh, thanks to his sisters' love. Amanda has government projects with the environment in Portland for income. All, except my son, realize how lucky they are if they can weather this fiasco of benign neglect called the USA. My colleagues from FDR HS are better off being paid from home than contracting illness from reckless students and administrators on-site. There will be a Phoenix rising from the ashes but first the house must burn down. That is the hard part watching when the house is in your neighborhood. Not for a minute do I not thank my lucky starts I am with a lovely lady in pragmatic Taiwan.” 

A Facebook comrade shared a MSN report about the federal goons in Portland detaining people without probable cause. I suggested MSN was a prejudiced source of news and she responded, “I'm sharing stuff like this in condemnation of DHS and what lying sacks of shit they are, but I've also been sharing lots information directly from the protesters.”

I wrote back, “My daughter in Portland has updated me. She said downtown is dangerous and scared the homeless away. The mayor is playing politics to win reelection and in fact invited in federal goons. There is no serious violence there. Demonstrations are mostly peaceful.”

The travesty of justice is nothing new in the USA. The assault on labor and workers’ rights has been going on for decades. If there is no direct action fight back, the US dream of liberty, fairness, and democracy is dead; it has been on life support since John Kennedy was assassinated.  Anyone that thinks Democrats will change things around are living in a delusion and the greater problem; the devil you know is better than the one you don’t know.

The question is, does one stay in the States and fight the fascism or emigrate to a safer nation. Yes, we created it and must take it away from those who abuse it. But if Staters aren't going to fight for their rights more strongly, the rest of the world welcomes the die-hard intellectuals who would be the first to be punished when fascism takes hold. I'm with Snowden.

And what of emigrating to Taiwan, my adopted home of my native wife for fifteen years. A friend from the states is thinking of coming in the Fall. In the cavalier attitude of America's puppies where the world was not locked down and the Chinese suck more than the Democrats or Republicans, Taiwan rules as a primo destination for western losers, fly-by-nights, and old farts trying to remember, if not re-live, their younger days. If I see one white face in the sea of faces off the Taiwan strait, it is hard to keep a straight face or acknowledge their carpetbag. Aside from the white supremacists whose son of God was a white lizard stepped on and discarded to other stolen Indian territory where polygamy was  prudent and you're darn tootin' Jesus is rootin', foreigners here are all carriers of the failed empire of imperial planet destruction in the name of free enterprise and profit, not prophet, though they pretend they're holier than thou, their goddamned story is full of holes as in the watering hole where the geezers and looneys congregate on hot summer nights to guzzle beer and light the world with their whiteness. When they must pass a Mandarin conversation, Taiwanese and Chinese history test to even get a tourist visa to overstay and protect themselves from corona, virus, not the beer, I will welcome them at the airport with a limousine to their mandatory re-education centers to wash through white to the red white and blue and all the way under their thin skins to become as inconsiderate and selfishly unabashed as the rest of the renegade hillbillies of a la (first tone) la (second tone) la(third) and la (fourth tone) landed on a gentrification island. China airlines by any other name still will suck. When liberation from the real China comes, no one will notice until the westerns tell them and they lose their corrupted privilege. Then the white boys will have to move on back to Guam and Marshall Islands for that real nuclear day-glow. But you, my friend, you are always welcome.

The United States is full of Beavis's and Buttheads refusing to wear masks but at least those two unsavory adolescents weren't real. Most of America is crazy and scared. I would be proud of my daughter in Portland with her boyfriend if they joined the fight-back against militarized police, but they are not. Neither are my other three children; only one has a good excuse; her son is one month old. When intelligent children of a radical father don't fight back, who will? When lawyers, environmentalists, and medical staff don't join the protests who will? I cannot cajole or convince them of the urgency to join the ranks against tyranny that has finally bubbled to the top after steadily increasing since the people stopped the war machine in Vietnam. The Democrats are to blame, very much to blame, because they are the opposition party and they haven't been opposed strongly enough to prevent or turn back the onslaught. People who support the Democrats, goddamn them, too! This is a fight for the life of an American dream before it is forever gone. Wake up, America!

Copyright © 2020 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Taiwan in the Downward Spiral called the United States

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          I sit and watch the downward spiral called the United States in my safe Taiwanese home, but a radical at heart I remain and do what I can to educate wayward sheep busy flocking themselves with condemnations of the violence of revolt. There are no criminals in an uprising; downtrodden victims of capitalism. If anything good can come out of the botched response to COVID-19, it is this. My son was living on the streets of LA when it hit home but he wisely took my offer to transport him to his sister's homes near Pittsburgh where he will stay and get medical tests and credentials before going anywhere else.

          A friend from California wrote: “The cadet called MAGA boys to attack protesters at the WH. See what happens to night.” I was not being brazen to say I hoped, if there was a blood bath there was a blood bath outside the White House, most of it would be white supremacist or military police; there is no revolution without martyrs. The US protesters must go beyond the Yellow Vests of France, in size and shape, minorities, veterans, students, unionists, housewives. This will be the last chance to turn the US around.

There were reports of agent provocateur and police brutality during the mass uprising against the system brought on by the murder of another person by the police. The police are provoking the violence but the people can organize and fight back. Get in a car and run over some. Get on the roofs and drop Maltov cocktails on them. Follow them home and set their straw houses on fire. Don’t let the violence scare us. Organize clandestinely and fight back! There must be a civil war, as I discussed with another incredulous stateside friend no more than a month ago, to which she threatened to unfriend me; we snoozed each other. Guerilla tactics.

 I could see what they were doing with the COVID-19 unpreparedness and telling people to stay off the streets. They’ve got the guns but we’ve got the numbers. Doesn’t matter if the schmuck is calling ANTIFA a terrorist organization (it’s not an organization anyway) because we know the streets and alleyways of our towns. For all the privileged white cowards like Lorraine Green hiding behind black husbands and police officer step-children, there are many more white people that know the score and tried to burn down the CNN headquarters in Atlanta for their misinformation. We will be coming out of the woodwork and we will win to create an anarcho-syndicalist socialist state!

          The curfew in DC on June first was ten o’clock. There were thousands of beautiful young people on the streets surrounding the White House defying it. Trump was belligerent threatening to bring in troops; martial law loomed. Those brave young fellow workers were amazing! That night it looked like there was going to be the start of the revolution. There was going to be no more Republican-Democrat hegemony over American people. The Senate would be forced to resign or be hanged.

Trump was not resigning. Military police were firing teargas and I believe the protesters should have been more offensive; break through the line. But it is okay to retreat to find a location unprotected to fight back. The protesters backed off Lafayette Park, but when they were attacked every protester needed to have a weapon and protection. Telling well-apportioned police not to shoot is useless. They had noisy military helicopters hovering low over the people.

 I was watching two You-Tube feeds and felt like I was there. I would have run away, too, as I did many times in past demonstrations against the US government. I, too, would not get a stick and fight back. Before curfew at 10 pm, police started attacking peaceful and militant protesters without discrimination. The protesters then would not have been wrong to pick up metal barricades and rush at the brutal police firing teargas and rubber bullets at them, but they were backing off. But eight minutes until curfew, no one was following orders to get off the streets in DC, NYC, and elsewhere else in forty cities across the USA.

At midnight, the feed from Matt, who was sending the live, ended; he decided it was time to get into his car and go home; his parents were worrying about him. The protesters had backed away from the military police line and took their frustration out on commercial establishments going into the night seizing the time, and getting home safely to fight another day.

I was talking with my California friend for over an hour during the showdown outside the White House as I watched You-Tube feeds from D.C. He would like to think of himself as a radical; he is on the right side in this fight, but like many other liberal bourgeois WASPs in denial about their white Christian privilege, he comforts himself reminiscing how he was a Chicano amigo once. His wife, a Taiwanese born American, is out-of-touch as much as my friend about the big corruption of the DPP inviting the US military in further, buying expensive second –rate equipment, power-sharing with the KMT; the big international DPP corruption versus the little local  KMT corruption with Taiwan's mafia. My friend is not about to tell his wife anything to upset the apple cart, but at least he realizes they don't know what's really going on in Taiwan living as they do, isolated in Ventura. If she loved Taiwan as much as she said she did, they would come back here.

Seeing life in the States getting worse I ask myself: Did we escape the USA just in time? I retired early thanks to a buy-out to save the city money, marginalized in FDR's UFT and NYC GMB by the time I retired; there was nothing else for me to do but volunteer for Workers World and attend Anarchist Forums. But I never lost sight of the deterioration of justice and workers' rights in the States. I didn't jump ship, did I, but I didn't go down with it, either. The main difference between radical friends place in Brooklyn and mine is I have a choice of finding out how horrible it has become there, but he has to live in the muck. In his golden years, I wouldn't begrudge them a cabin near Walden Pond or something; unless they're in the underground; the only other way to go.

On Saturday, June 6, they had a recall vote for the KMT clown from Kaohsiung with the Donald Trump imitation; his big-mouth campaign didn’t work though and he lost to President Tsai Ying-Wen in December. He had been elected mayor for the reason that Tsai was not moving Taiwan forward, politically or economically, but instead of staying to help Kaohsiung, he immediately started a presidential campaign. Tsai had USA help and the media played up anti-China Hong Kong hysteria and neutralized her stalemate while countering her too much-too soon legalizing same-sex marriage to a conservative society. With any other pro-independence politician like Lai Ching-Da, the former independence supporting mayor from Tainan, off the table and out of the way, caved in with the rest of the DPP that has international policy to China, they chart a similar course to that of the KMT of martial law days; no discussion with the PRC, and no compromise in the US defended island, and still workers are overworked, endangered and underpaid without unions. At least the anger in the US over the brutal police murder of George Floyd is too much for Taiwan media to ignore and may make some people question why the DPP is supporting and mimicking a regime like that.

Congratulations to the people of Kaohsiung for showing the U.S. how to remove a scumbag from office, something the Democratic Party has no clue about handling. More people voted to remove him than voted to elect him. Leona and I celebrated and will make plans to visit Kaohsiung again, I hope.  

The proof I sent my California friend a few days ago supporting the Chinese claim to Taiwan, sailing to and occupying western Taiwan as early 1600, was contended by him when we chatted the morning the White House was under siege. Why he would challenge that China has a right to insist on Taiwan as part of their nation if he is as against the US government as he says, especially since the DPP has given up supporting independence and capitulated to old KMT ruse of communist slander and dependence on the US for surveillance and defense?

The U.S. sent two Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait today for the fourth time in recent months on the anniversary of the Tiananmen disaster, the anniversary when western subterfuge almost torpedoed Chinese socialism. I wondered why there were Taiwanese fighter jets in the sky that morning. How much more anti-worker, anti-people, racist action by the US government must be shown in Taiwan media before the Taiwanese people rise up and oust their own obstruction to nationhood?   

Copyright © 2020 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved 

Taiwan Spitting in the face of Change

On Friday, TSMC announced plans to invest US$12 billion to build
 the 5 nanometer fab, saying that construction is scheduled to start next year.

          One hand washes the other but in this time of changing priorities, Taiwan is spitting in the face of changing priorities and distancing itself from China, its cultural cohort in everything but capitalism and exploitation. First it was FOXCONN making a deal to undercut American unions with a factory in Wisconsin, now it is TSMC ready to have union free workers exploited on American soil in Arizona.  In both cases, the workforce in Taiwan gets the short end of the deal with migrant silicon valley workers from India exploited even further and keeping Taiwanese workers underpaid and overworked. This is the reward the US gives Taiwan for distancing itself from China while the real gift of independence for Taiwan has been taken off the table by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Tsai Ying-Wen. How does the clandestine US presence in Taiwan  and English dependency work to make Taiwan America's eyes on China, blind to its own self-determination?  

          Formosan Association for Public affairs (FAPA), located in the US to lobby congressmen and senators to support Taiwan-related Bills posted this: The Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act was signed into law by President Trump last week. The remaining Taiwan-related bills in the Congress include Senate's Taiwan Assurance Act (S.878), Senate's WHO bill (S.249), House's Taiwan Envoy Act (H.R.5535), House's Employment Fairness for Taiwan Act of 2020 (H.R.6014), and Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty Act (S.3310 & H.R.6287).” They also want support to force China Airlines to change its name to reflect its Taiwan home base so they can skirt prejudice against “real” Chinese. Taiwan’s Minister for Transportation and Communications, Lin Chia-lung, said his ministry has an “open mind” to changing the carrier’s name, but notes that “because [the carrier] is a listed company, [we] need to respect the shareholders’ and public’s opinions”. Will they wear “We are NOT Japanese” type buttons as the Chinese did in the U.S. during internment of Japanese citizens during WW II? Asians of all nations are victims of vicious racist attacks in the U.S. And the DPP through FAPA sees the US as Taiwan’s friend?  
          Taiwan’s government is clearly betting on the wrong horse to the detriment of its working class. In passive-aggressive manor, Taiwan’s DPP threw insult at the WHO for not recognizing being left out; Taiwan is part of China and should defer to her; indeed, they mimicked her response without acknowledgment. By doing as well or better than China and Hong Kong in controlling the outbreak, Taiwan has a “we’ll show them” combative attitude.
          Some supporters of Tsai Ying-Wen’s campaign to smear the WHO for not dealing with Taiwan separately from China allegedly insulted the WHO personally and sent death threats. The WHO leader fought back. Taiwan led the way in suspicion and deriding China’s response to the outbreak in the beginning mentioning “Wuhan” a thousand times a day in the media “white-man” washing of the true nature of a pandemic; it belongs to all nations unprepared to care for their common people, not China alone, though it served Taiwanese well the precautions taken, but now the DPP is riding Trump’s racist coattails, against its social cohort.
          The UN agency has come under continued fire from Trump, who mirrors Tsai Ying-Wen’s accusation that the WHO is “very China-centric” and has ended funding.
          Speaking on Wednesday, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the WHO's work and called for an end to the politicization of COVID-19.
          The disease first emerged last December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has just ended an 11-week lock-down. An advisor to the WHO chief earlier said their close work with China had been "absolutely essential" in understanding the disease in its early stages.
         Trump's attacks on the WHO come in the context of criticism of his own administration's handling of the pandemic, especially early problems with US testing.
The WHO approved a corona-virus test in January - but the US decided against using it, developing its own test instead. However, in February, when the testing kits were dispatched, some of them did not work properly, and led to inconclusive results.
Public health experts say the delay enabled the virus to spread further within the US.
          Dr Tedros said he had been at the receiving end of racist comments for the past two to three months. "Giving me names, black or negro," he said. "I'm proud of being black, or proud of being Negro." He then said he had received death threats, adding: "I don't give a damn." The WHO chief said the abuse had originated from Taiwan, "and the foreign ministry didn't disassociate" itself from it.
          "For years, we have been excluded from international organizations, and we know better than anyone else what it feels like to be discriminated against and isolated," Reuters news agency quoted her as saying. "If Director-General Tedros could withstand pressure from China and come to Taiwan to see Taiwan's efforts to fight Covid-19 for himself, he would be able to see that the Taiwanese people are the true victims of unfair treatment."
          Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the comments were "irresponsible" and the accusations "imaginary". The ministry said it was seeking an apology for "slander", AFP news agency reported.
          FAPA (Formosan Association of Public Affairs) is the Taiwanese-American lobby group that funnels millions of dollars to senators and congressmen to influence their stance towards Taiwan province’s de facto separation from the People's Republic of China. They originally were mostly middle-aged independence advocates with a smattering of easy-chair socialists but now they are elderly, with no new generation, and have given up their ideals to see Taiwan as a 51st State and Taiwan ties to the US stronger than with its cultural cohort 129 miles across the Strait. Instead of acknowledging the influence from China establishing policy that mirrored its quick and effective reaction to the virus outbreak in late January, FAPA and the ruling DPP want to ride Trump's coattails in blaming China for America's problem of unpreparedness and aiding the CIA in further distancing reunification, not for Taiwanese benefit alone. Too bad that the KMT used a populist approach supporting a clown that rivaled Trump for the presidency, and lost momentum of a populace reeling from a 20 year failing economy and underpaid work force; indeed losing workers to China that paid higher wages. Taiwan has become Asia's Florida; 1 out of 4 citizens over 65 and legally holding duel US passports. The lies the DPP is spreading (65,000 people died from COVID-19 in China, for example) and supporting the renaming of China Airlines (how about China Petroleum, China University Hospital, etc.) because it has given Taiwan a bad name is ludicrous.
          Using the WHO's refusal to address Taiwan's demand for consideration, embarrassing themselves at news conferences, and taking Trump's tract of blaming China, calling the WHO China's proxy, will not work as the proof is in the pudding; at least 20,000 confirmed US deaths (out of a quarter billion) to China's lock-downed Hubei Provence's 3,000 (saving the more than billion people outside Wuhan) is a figure that over a hundred nations in the WHO recognize as reality. Taiwan is riding the wrong horse into the future and I fear it will come to no good. How long can the American bubble in Taiwan last when the bubble-blowers in the White House and Senate is running out of soap. I don't fly China Airlines because the food sucks, the seats are tight, the cost is high, and the equipment is old, nor do I fly Air China with its poor handling and bureaucratic transfers. Changing the name of either airline will make no difference to me or most savvy travelers. 
           FAPA's renewed demand that China Airlines be renamed because 'China was giving it a bad name.' That bad name is the fault of racist Euro-Americans like Trump blaming instead of congratulating China for its fast and effective response to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. I wouldn't fly China Airlines or Air China if they were both renamed Trans Love Airways; both airlines suck. This red herring is FAPA's only recourse to admitting it's lobbying from a sinking ship.
          The lie the US and Taiwan are spreading about the WHO not telling the world of the danger. I wrote in an article Jan. 20: “Yesterday, the World Health Organization said the virus represents a risk outside of China as the United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission.” They did indeed tell the US and the world to be prepared.
          The hilarity of Taiwan's DPP rejection of China while pandering to the US and feigning independence is too much. Tsai Ying-Wen has given up the fight for Taiwan independence
          Meanwhile, the English media in Taiwan is controlled by the US, the defense is supported and backed by the US, English is taught from primary school up, most government officials and ruling class hold US passports, US citizens have special visa privileges here, the Taiwan dollar exchange is according to the US. Most NGO's are from the US, the church is beholden to the US, street signs and weapon instructions, propaganda in line with US, MSN, Facebook and Google given free access to private date, Lockheed-Martin research tied to US CIA, shall I continue? Okay. The US helped rescue CKS and turned a blind eye to the 228 Massacre, US fast food chains, clothing, music, and culture of US origin... Taiwan is OWNED by the US CIA, surveillance, and it's not symbiotic; they will and have jerked Taiwan around for 70 years playing both sides KMT and DPP; every Taiwan president has secret briefings with the US before taking office (except maybe Lee Tung-Huai who told the US they weren't his father) and now most COVID-19 cases are FROM THE US, NOT CHINA as they let their guard down to US-European repatriation. American youth are here in droves paraprofessionals using Taiwan as a way-station to touring the world. You're not denying that Taiwan is a vassal of the U.S. more than any other land? Its Chinese cohort is stymied.

Copyright © 2020 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

10 Reasons Taiwan Does Not Suffer From COVID-19

Add Taiwan to the Statue's Middle Finger

I am a New York ESL teacher but, after living in Taiwan for fourteen years, stating in 1979, including the last seven, being fluent in Mandarin, and having been married to two Taiwanese women totaling thirty-eight years, I understand the Taiwanese people better than most foreigners do, indeed, sometimes more than the Taiwanese themselves. Despite what the Taiwan government tells the world media, I know the real reason why only 429 people are infected and only 6 have died from COVID-19 in four months since becoming alerted to it in January 2020. Here are the 10 reasons why our precautionary measures have limited the ill-effect the virus has had on us in Taiwan :

Reason #1
Number one is that the vice president in Taiwan is the man who led the fight against SARS in Taiwan in 2003. At that time, China covered up the epidemic not knowing what it was. Taipei City suffered the first outbreak of 137 infections and 26 deaths. This alarmed the ruling class affected directly more than others outside the capital. In all, there were 664 cases reportedWith memories of the virus that caused the death of so many, vice-president, Chen Chien-jen, who was formerly an epidemiologist and VP of Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institution, went into action again. Because he knew what to do to safeguard the public, and because he brought his distrust of China to the COVID-19 epidemic, Taiwan's response was successful.  Partial to the west through his Christian background and anti-China unification, his motivation was sealed. 

Reason #2
Secondly, Taiwanese people are highly distrustful of each other. It is thought that the other person will do you harm and there is significant subliminal distancing that occurs between people here and much inconsideration for others. Rarely will drivers yield to others or let pedestrians cross the street. In the same way, having a stranger babysit or dog sit, even someone who they may know from school or the neighborhood, is almost unheard of in Taiwan because people are afraid this stranger will steal something in the house. As a result, people took the threat from others seriously and followed directives. People wash their hands and wear surgical masks, not to prevent their disease from being caught by others, but because they are sure others are giving the disease to them.

Reason #3
Number three the Chinese custom of saving face - not embarrassing others in public - is a major reason why Taiwan did not suffer. The saving face occurred when Taiwan government was made aware of a campaign in China to limits the number of cases, the tracing of people and places. Not to be outdone and lose face, these methods of containment was also used in Taiwan, without crediting China for the heads-up. The thought that more people would suffer in Taiwan then in China was unthinkable. It would have meant the loss of face of Taiwan to the world. For this reason, the WHO support of China’s handling the outbreak was condemned as China-friendly by Taiwan and gave the signal for Trump to blame the WHO to de-fund it. When Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed racist threats made to him on the internet, Taiwan government lost face and attacked the WHO more, telling people it couldn't be relied upon to help them. They doubled their effort. 

Reason #4
The fourth reason is Taiwan’s location. Even though Taiwan is only 129 miles from the Chinese coast, and 600 miles from Wuhan, it may as well be on the other side of the earth. Taiwan is an isolated island in Asia. Extreme scrutiny was exercised  of international flights between Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. Other nations, thinking Taiwan part of China, distanced themselves for us. It enabled the campaign to work containing the epidemic by having every visitor from China and Asia examined for fever and tested for presence of the virus. There were a limited number of visitors, especially from China, coming to Taiwan in the months after the realization of the epidemic danger. Exchange students were stopped. Tour groups were not permitted to enter or leave. Groups and cruise ships that had entered before the danger were quarantined and tested. As an island, Taiwan benefited from total isolation of the Strait between it and China and control of its borders both air and sea. Even  fisherman had to report any contacts that they had with sailors from China. Tour group were given close scrutiny and the outbreak was contained, until visitors infected in Europe and the USA were let in and precautions were tightened to the west, too. 

Reason #5
The fifth reason that Taiwan did not suffer from the epidemic is because it came on the cusp of the anti-China demonstrations in Hong Kong. Taiwan fear-mongering that intensified anti-China sentiment disguised as ‘pro-democracy’ was utilized  to inflate every stereotype and misconception about China to the people of Taiwan through the island-wide media and CNN, ICRT, the only English language radio station, and MSN  internet and social media. In this way. any contradictory facts about the corona-virus favorable to China were down-played and the illusion of Taiwan unilateral attack of the virus was promoted. The distrust perpetuated by  President Tsai Ying-Wen  of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was a major factor in controlling information about the virus including the spreading of rumors (For example, claiming 60,000 fatalities in China) and distrusting Chinese research Added to the Hong Kong distrust of Chinese promoted for presidential election, the COVID-19 attack was a way of extending the distrust created between Taiwan and China.

Reason #6
Number 6 is that the Taiwanese, like their Chinese cohort, are, as the famous saying goes, controlled by three material factors in life: saving face, wealth, and the fear of dying, though the revolution has made China less susceptible to private corruption and more capable of standing up to business interests. This fear of dying enabled the coordinated ubiquitous control of the epidemic at the earliest stage possible. Taiwan didn't have thirty-eight years of world-record martial law for nothing. The sacred cow, free universal healthcare, enabled everybody who needed and wanted to be checked for the virus to do so free of charge, without losing any money. The tents set up outside hospitals immediately gave free testing to anybody who suspected they were infected. There was no price gouging and the hoarders selling on the internet them were caught and punished. The face was saved by blaming China and the United Nations World Health Organization and not making a big deal about the United States blaming the same scapegoats; that would make Tsai Ying-Wen's government lose face if people knew she was on the same side as Donald Trump as well as conservatives in both US parties. Not many are dying here from the virus because no hospital wants the stigma; I must be tested for fever every time I go in for a check-up and I must have on a mask. The navy commanders that didn't report an ship with infected sailors had to bend over and apologize profusely, get demoted, but not face trial, certainly not be fired like the whistle-blowing US commander was, 

Reason #7
The seventh reason is the common use of surgical masks in Taiwan society. Everybody in Taiwan is used to wearing facial masks. The habit stems from the SARS epidemic of 2003. In addition to the precaution of wearing masks against disease, people wear masks regularly because of the high pollution level in the air. Taiwanese have been wearing masks in a society where half the people get around on motorcycles and scooters. Many motorcycle and scooter riders have been wearing for many years. There are a number of mask producing factories in Taiwan. In addition, there is outsourcing of mass production from mainland Chinese entrepreneurs that fill Taiwan with enough masks of every shape and size for everyone who wants to wear one, and they are inexpensive. Every drugstore, every convenience store, every supermarket has a shelf with a number of masks that one can select. It has been part of Taiwan culture to wear masks long before the COVID-19 virus made it necessary to avoid contact from spittle of infected carriers. We also have swabs, testers, and everything else needed for doctors and nurses to control the virus.

Reason #8
The eighth reason is decidedly racist. Taiwanese, even those with family in China, think their Chinese brethren eat dirty unhealthy food and the USA white people eat clean food (Oy-vay, how they love Jews who are kosher. Taiwanese think we are  brilliant and rich; there are dozens of books here about how great we are.) Taiwanese people, are mostly immigrants and descendants of Chinese. (The indigenous people mostly vote for re-unification KMT candidates but that's another story.)  Though a majority of people emigrated from China at some point, people thought the virus was theirs since it had not affect people outside of Asia the first few months; certainly the media repeated Wuhan a million times a day. It must be a disease that Chinese are susceptible to it while white people are not.  The irony is that though there were only six deaths + 100 cases from China the first few months, hundreds of cases of COVID-19 were allowed into Taiwan on flights from Europe and America because the authorities left the back door open thinking that's there would not be any epidemic in those parts of the world. Now it's closed, too. There is an inferiority complex that exists in Taiwan after seventy years of Western influence by the United States, most Taiwanese believe that white people are healthier than the strange foods admired Chinese cohorts. Well, not any more with most deaths and infections not from Asia. 

Reason #9
The ninth reason is that the team investigating and coordinating the virus reaction is non-partisan. Politics has not gotten in the way of science in Taiwan. There has been an occasional demagogue that disregards the national edict and tells their local people the wrong information, as politicians in France and England and Italy and the United States have done. But in Taiwan it is confronted with the truth immediately and the island-wide media is able to contradict any illogical politically motivated subterfuge.

Reason #10
The tenth reason is the homogeneous society in Taiwan. There is no racial mistrust, separate treatments for rich and poor, or other divisive factors such as one's religious beliefs or superstitions; only a sexist attitude towards women, thanks to Confucian  influence.  Most people here are of the same cultural cohort and there is little division because of the color of one's skin. Religion is not a factor in discrimination as it is in the US where many Judaeo-Christians think G-d will prevent them from getting sick and masks are unnecessary. It has jeopardized the safety measures there but not in Taiwan.  Where white supremacy and prejudice prevail, where rich get treatment and poor don't, it has torpedoed the united front necessary to confront the pandemic; not in Taiwan.

In short, Taiwan, with a history of mistrust of China, from both political parties, and socialist based system heralded by thirty-eight years of martial law dictatorship, has the unified cultural and spiritual togetherness that makes it easy for a top-down society to implement precautionary measures without distrust on the basis of sex, religion, age, culture, or racial background. In conclusion, we can thank the People's Republic of China, directly and indirectly, for our excellent response and containment of the pandemic in Taiwan.
Copyright © 2020 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Not China's fault; Blame Your Own Government

          Selma, my Zionist, red-blooded American-Jew relative, sent an e-mail from a site called “Today’s Israel Connection” with a teaser: “Brigitte Gabriel admits what no one else will about China”; a well-dressed middle aged woman complaining about American-used products (including military [though she is too ignorant to realize the war stuff is made in Taiwan, Provence of China]). I wrote back, not to educate Selma, because she is not capable of learning anymore, but for a blog piece I have written to be equally ignored. 
          The British East India Company fed China opium in the 19th century and the western colonial powers carved up China into little fiefdoms. After China pulled back from the Cultural Revolution, it being too much too soon in development towards communism, the U.S. and the capitalist west obliged their market reforms by letting companies outsource operations there to avoid environmental, workplace safety, and low overhead, meanwhile, charging Americans the same price items cost when made stateside. Materialism is capitalism's opium, selling stuff people don't really need, polluting the planet and enriching the stock holders on Wall Street.
           China's plan, and it was done successfully, was to gradually learn the best business practices, discard the worst, and raise the living standard of all its people, especially in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) along its coast, and gradually move production inland lifting most of Chinese people out of poverty. The government never lost control of business and centrally planned many initiatives. Temporary minority share of foreign leases of property was the deal. Along the way, they developed their own technology that surpassed the west's, and an infrastructure that is recognized around the world, making the US look like a third world nation; unbelievably, the US has no high speed rail and its electric grid looks like a street in Mumbai with wires everywhere, susceptible to the weather and blackouts.
           It is not a matter of bringing industry home to the US; the industry is wasteful and harmful to American workers, the health standards have been decimated by Reps and Dems alike, unions have been attacked by both in Washington, too. What the US needs is a Green initiative, such as Europe and China have been investing for in the 21st century, reducing carbon emissions from coal usage and developing a better world. The US and the west failed where China succeeded and has had a taste of its own medicine destroying the livelihood of Americans; just like the shabby response to COVID-19. Outsourced for cheap labor and mismanaged response to a human virus? It is not China's fault; blame your own government in bed with corporations with its own greedy leaders, not unlike the brutal colonizers that tried to steal China from its own people. The US corporate government has stolen America from its own workers.
Copyright © 2020 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Sympathy for an Anti-China American Worker

          I shared a news report I got on Facebook by George Yeo on April 21, from "Mothership" entitled “COVID-19 putting China in position of political advantage. They may just emerge as a big winner while the rest of the world struggles to contain the outbreak.” In this article, which first appeared on Brunswick on Apr. 16, George Yeo,  a Brunswick Geopolitical Principal and former Singapore Cabinet member for Health (1994–97), Trade and Industry (1999–2004) and Foreign Affairs (2004–11) and a non-executive Advisor to "Mothership". In it, he says “The Chinese authorities made 'serious mistakes' in their initial response to COVID-19 between Dec. 2019 and Jan. 2020. However, the Chinese central government took the right call on the most critical decision -- locking down Wuhan, which saved the country and bought the world a few weeks. It was unfortunately not put to good use. China's uniquely centralized system has allowed it to bring down the number of new cases, while the rest of the world now struggles with the fallout. This has placed China in a position of political advantage and to emerge as a winner from the crisis, provided it does not overplay its hand.”
          A few stateside friends commented on my shared post, one positively, one not so; he said he didn’t think  communism was good, to which I replied “But it saved a billion people in China and has lessened their dependence on other nations commercial needs. Poverty is greatly reduced, and wages in coastal cities are higher than Taiwan." I asked if he didn't wish the US could have helped its people the way China has.”  He replied “No. Don't forget about China's communism. It is a huge blemish on whatever accomplishment fulfilled” to which I replied “Communism is good. It is good for a central government to care for the needs of all its people.”
          That was when I got comments from a recent Facebook friend, Neil, who, while not a man freed from US propaganda, is otherwise progressive in liking my pro-worker shares. He chimed in with two irrelevant articles condemning China, first from Amnesty International July 9, 2018, entitled “Third Anniversary of the lawyers crackdown in China: Where are the human rights lawyers, and saying “It’s already been three years since China launched a crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists across the country. Starting on 9 July 2015, nearly 250 targeted individuals were questioned or detained by state security agents.” Another, a two month old report from The Guardian entitled “Doctor who blew whistle over coronavirus has died, hospital says. Early reports of death of Li Wen-Liang were retracted, only for doctor to succumb to disease later in day.” Neil’s point, though irrelevant to my initial, was that China did not care for its own people’s freedom of speech or health.
          I pointed out that statements like this: "This is just the kind of arbitrary and unreasonable behavior you get in a system where there are no limits on power and the authorities can simply do whatever they please" show the prejudiced slant on China's system from AI. Surely you can't have the multitude of divergent opinion in a one party state. Do you want to see the chaos that has caused 50k deaths from COVID-19, 20k from the common flu, opioid addiction, white supremacists with a privileged ruling class for a society of s billion people?!? There are ways to influence local level policy in China but the chaos of corrupt government capitalism, or the advocacy of such, is not how to safeguard the progress China has made. When Amnesty international investigates the corrupt foundation of Taiwan and other capitalist police states there will be a blue moon. It is a "pro-democracy" NGO, anti-China and any nation on the road to socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, or communism. That this doctor's family has condemned how his unfortunate death has been used in Taiwan and other anti-China states. He is a hero to the Chinese people, and to me, not a toy to manipulate in Western media. He didn’t care what I said
          I wondered if, as a US citizen, perhaps he had not suffered enough through neo-liberal politics and pointed out the absence of social medicine and education in the US and other ruling class dominated stated, the 99% under class. He not only didn’t care what he said but he went off on a defensive tangent saying my comment on AI, “though different your references (those, fabulously ignorant) perfectly mirrors that of the right wing Israeli government and its sycophants: a shared, irrational hatred...I could say a lot a more... (E.g., local Chinese officials take their orders from Communist Central and are blamed whenever those are mistaken or objected to by the public...well documented) He not only called my references “fabulously ignorant” but compared my criticism of AI accusations of China to Israel’s! 
          “Not suffered enough?” he asked rhetorically as if insulted.  “Oh my...I was a militant union steel worker. I have lived in a barrio for 28 years. I am (was) a simple tradesman. My S.S. does not cover my rent. I stand in food lines. My Medicaid will soon be threatened. I am an advanced cancer patient on chemotherapy...” for which I do have sympathy
          But then he calls me a hypocrite for posting an Earth Day cartoon by Robert Crumb. “You post a comic by Crumb which waters "decentralization". Do you really believe that? You refuse to speak to political oppression in China...I might infer a middle class socialist fake with "self-esteem issues"...Or the simple inability to be honest. Don't reply...I am not interested.” Okay. This guy wants to fight so I put on my gloves.
          “You silly human being,” I wrote jokingly. “Are you unable to deal with an opinion different from your own? I strongly suggest that you double your efforts to clean up your own backyard before you start working on others backyards who you have never visited. What you refuse to understand is what is necessarily right in one system of government is not necessarily right in another. Robert crumb is completely right in saying that decentralization would improve the lives of people in the United States because the central government in the United States is not interested in the welfare of the common people. In China, on the other hand, the central government is obliged to care for the 1 billion people under its auspices if not for the sake of deferring any insurrection then for the altruistic Chinese concept of social development which has existed in their society for over five thousand years. You can't take one idea and say that it's true for every government.
          “Having some states lock down and some not lock down is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.” I saw this cute meme supporting my viewpoint and IM’d him hoping to draw the conversation away from public posting. “That’s why,” I said, “You need to be decentralized until there's a reason to come together under one umbrella. It takes a civil war for that to happen. Are you willing to participate or do you just want to criticize other people's points of view? China already had it civil war the good guys won. America had the civil war and everything was the same after as it was before. They need another one don't you think so?”
          He hadn’t read it until three hours later, after changing his mind about me not replying to him because he was not interested. “Well, I will contradict myself and reply...I refuse to deal with a person whose opinion is founded on ignorant illusions (the last, a simplistic view about Chinese history based on the dubious Marxian theory of the "Asiatic mode of production"...which he borrowed from bourgeois observers) or bad faith mendacity....But most of all, one who ignores the repression of free speech (which Marx, if challenged, would have not ignored...) Done...” he short shifted me again. But I wasn’t finished, whether he looked, as I now see he did, or didn’t.
          “You’re confusing free expression of thoughts with something else, I said. “Can you count how many times the West has tried to subvert China? Have you heard of the CIA in Tibet? Have you heard of the non-government organizations representing America tearing apart Hong Kong? Have you heard about the last Western colony on Chinese soil called Taiwan? Have you heard about the Northwest Chinese education of Muslim called concentration camps by Western media? And by the way have you heard of a little virus called COVID-19 that the West claims was manufactured or originated in a city called Wuhan? How many times do you want the West to sabotage the revolution in China?”
          I had hit on Hong Kong subterfuge from Western NGO’s and that got Neil agitated enough to send another biased article from ESSF with the Democracy Now take on the "attack on democracy"  referring to the chaos that resulted from the Hong Kong government’s attempt to fix a loophole preventing them from prosecuting a murderer from Taiwan by extraditing him to China, an article on impractical altruism typical of anarchists “Not Dogma: A Left Case for Hong Kong Self-Determination from  April 3 2020, by LI Promise, another ignorant take on the clueless Hong Kong upper class bourgeois.That I had seen before.
          “Our principles of left internationalism and anti-discrimination aim toward the ever-increasing capacity of ordinary people to collectively think for themselves and democratically determine their own lives with others. The left must struggle alongside the masses in the collective struggle for self-determination, not to reify national borders or set up layers of exclusion, but to witness a basic reality of democratic thinking that would stimulate and guide our internationalist commitments for a more equitable society for all.” Isn’t that altruism for you?”
          I replied and reminded him I live in Taiwan and have been to Hong Kong enough to know how arrogant most people there are towards working class Chinese, African and Islamic day laborers.
          I will not unfriend Neil though he insulted me a few times; I have sympathy for a working man, on chemotherapy no less, but he shouldn’t leave this earth afraid of China gaining dominance over neo-liberal capitalism; he should be proud that our side won.

Copyright © 2020 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved