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.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Opium War, Taiwan, and the U.S.



I went back to reading The Opium War, excellently researched by Julia Lowell, while up the river yesterday. I was up to the second war Britain started (with France and the U.S. support) against China's protecting its borders against illicit drugs; the wars of western imperialism in 1859. The Ching were so unprepared for European militarism. If it weren't for the Taiping Rebellion in the south and Japanese intervention in the north to fill the power void, there might not have become a May 4th Movement, nationalism, and rise of Communism to safeguard China's borders; China could have become like the Americas with the whole nation colonized, its people enslaved or massacred as natives were there. In 1860, the British sacked the Summer Palace in Beijing, looted it and burned it down. 

If there is anyone in the U.S. still interested in mind expansion, opening the doors of perception, turning on, tuning in, and dropping out, I am in favor of widespread cannabis usage, but to dumb down a society too weak to fight, willing to give in and let bygones be, weed IS a problem. That being said, alcohol and opiates are more dangerous to the individual and society so, pass the dutchie on the left hand side.The Taiwanese do not understand and are not told why Americans are using opiads or cannibis so much; what it is really about or what is really being done to the American people.

In the corporate media in Taiwan, they did show President Trump's first lady's choice of jacket on a trip to visit children held at a detention center in Texas which said, "I really don't care. Do U?" scrawled on the back. 

There are many TV "all news"  channels here in Taiwan, none of which show international news for long. When they do, it is a voice-over from CNN. There is "good news" about China from stations with Chinese-leaning ownership, and one independence-supporting station, founded like Pacifica from members donations, that the cable network tries to dislodge from programming using economics as a reason. There is some Asia regional news in English on cable from their corporate media, but not much. 

There is little awareness in Taiwan of ICE separating undocumented immigrant families from their children but none on the dismantling of the social network or workers' protection; Taiwan government is anti-union; the U.S. never imported the notion when it exported "democracy" and "duel-party" politics to stop the communist dominoes. Designer brands are paraded as news and the  owner of Foxxcon, a sweatshop boss supreme,  is Taiwan's Bloomberg. The English Taipei Times newspaper and Facebook and website English news page  sources are dominated by the American government line. There is a large new Marine-guarded American Institute just christened which represents the U.S. govt. interests in lieu of an embassy; technically there is no recognition of Taiwan as a country.  It  was just celebrated by President Tsai Ying-Wen when a new representative was appointed  by the U.S. 

There is just a whisper of the amount of protest against the further erosion of American's standard of living, liberties, and rights, with most Taiwanese thinking, like many privileged people of color, that they are honorary "whites" better than poor minorities.

 As you may know from reading my blog, I could not get anything going forming a solidarity union with expats or natives for an IWW GMB here mainly because of spooks on Facebook that spread fear and lies about the right to unionize here. My posts were harassed and effectually banned by a few News in English Facebook groups. Indeed, there is corruption and mafia groups that will attack any grass root unionizing but support continued special treatment and bonuses for the children of Mainland Chinese that came with Chiang Kai-Shek. 

In a word, 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. 

I can remember feeling bad stuff was happening during the Clinton presidency when I returned to the States in 1989 after living in Taiwan six years. With George Bush and Iraq, Pt. I, I knew a former CIA director was the commander in chief. Like others, I voted Democratic because I thought the Democratic Party was slower to boil the frogs; the labor movement had some time to organize before the hole in the wall was closed. I went to demonstrations in NYC against the WTO and joined the IWW following the Black Bloc around. I knew time was getting thin and we had to fight back hard, but then they blew up the WTC to stifle the anti-WTO and oil organization from getting any stronger. It worked. They had an excuse to institute a police state "for our homeland protection."  Bush II stole 3 trillion dollars to repay the banks in 2008 and "save our way of life" add another 3 billion Obama stole for the same reason. The military budget grew and the social programs stuttered. Obamacare was a sham. All that you said about the Supreme Court and the hanging chads; the fix was in, hard. The fascists running the USA since Washington weren't going to let the hungry tired poor immigrants get any further. Taiwanese college students don't know how terrible the U.S. government is to its own people and plenty of Taiwanese still dream of immigrating unaware that they will be unemployed and victims of prejudice, too. I choose too remain in Taiwan the rest of my life because I know there is more libery here, universal health care, and safety. 

While there is still time in my life, and before the end of the U.S. as we know it, I pray my children make it out alive as I did. I feel that way; that I made it out alive from America in a similar way that Jews and progressives made it out alive from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and Spain. I'm not suggesting that you get out, too, because that may be your karma and who am I to say, but it was a golden path for me to be where I am today.

I feel safer with China nearby to protect Taiwan from any more encroachment from U.S. hegemony; to remove the last piece of colonialism of their territory, not to mention, a blow to fascism and a return to socialism. Call me a dreamer but that's how I feel. I don't need a joint to get high, and there is no reality to run away from. 

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

Friday, May 25, 2018

"Newsies" for Taiwan Solidarity

"Newsies" for Taiwan Solidarity

Copied from Education-Emancipation-Organization (www.e-e-o.blogspot.com) 
   
     “To cooperate to the fullest extent with the labor movement and to work for a progressive labor philosophy to awaken in all members a labor consciousness and sense of solidarity with labor.” United Federation of Teachers  (NYC-UFT) Mission Statement 
     So, how does an EFL teacher draw the attention of students in Taiwan where workers' unions are as foreign as English itself? How can we help students in Taiwan achieve their dreams in a harsh and changing workplace? 
     On April 19, 2018, I rode to Shengang Middle School where I conduct conversation enrichment. With the 8th graders, we've been discussing child abuse and oppressive child labor. The week before, an introduction to Kid Blink and the Newsies was  distributed and then we saw the first part of the Disney musical film, "Newsies."    The Disney Company is not famous for labor agitation; indeed, they have been at the heart of anti-labor clampdown since Walter himself testified in the McCarthy witch hunts against communists in Hollywood in the '50's; communist being a code word for unionism. But profit is profit and they couldn't let the market that made the anti-child abuse musicals "Oliver," "Annie," and "American Tail" slip through their hands. 
     The film is an entry-level introduction to activism for Taiwanese middle-school students with intermediate EFL skills. Children of families in Taiwan that suffer from underpay and overwork in a union-less work force with a declining standard of living, so much that the birth rate has dropped significantly, need to know this. Foreign teachers must take the lead in helping Taiwanese students  establish a culture of unionism. 

     On March 15, 2018, 107 years after the tragic workplace fire, the 8th grade class wrote and presented summaries about oppressive child labor from an excerpt of Fire at the Triangle Factory. We then read “Joseph Miliauskas: Breaker Boy” from We Were There, Too; Young People in U.S. History. Earlier, they had done a multiple choice on oppressive child labor discussing scenarios through reported speech question and answers. I told the children we would see a movie about such exploited children. They were thrilled to hear that; children love movies. I had tweaked their interest. 
      I handed my assistant the DVD so I could show the trailer and get the kinks out but  I was not going to show the film until every child showed their homework; a short introduction about Fire at the Triangle Factoryor “Kid Blink and the Newsies: Bringing Down Goliaths”. After sharing aloud, we begin to watch the Disney musical, Part 1. The children were asked to note actions of the main character, English or Chinese was okay. 

The class then caucused in groups of 4-5 to  write two actions each (present tense) about the film segment. They begin  sentences with a list of time phrases I put on the board (First, Next, Finally) and in cooperative learning,  order the actions, choosing five to write on their team space on the board. I took photos of each board and combined the groups findings (see brainstorm list below) then handed out the list the following week for them to put in order removing redundant and  irrelevant sentences. Once that was done, I continued showing the film and the group work process. 
    I played Part 2 for them yesterday after they began to organize the 37 details they had amassed from part one. Each group brainstormed two more details for the continuing lesson to conclude two weeks from now. At the end of class, the students made compound sentences with "after" and "before" as I showed them how to eliminate the excess pronoun after initial proper noun. They wrote two examples on the board. The silence came when I showed how, with commas, they could go on forever adding to time order details without repeating the subject pronoun. It must have been a revelation to them. I never heard them so quietly listening. 

Newsies: Part One Brainstorm
Order and delete redundant and irrelevant details

___An old man calls all the boys to get up.
___They sing, dress, and go to the sidewalk.
___The Newsies feel the extra profit their bosses take is not good for them.
___The Newsies decide to strike.
___The boys buy newspapers and sell them.
___Newsies have to buy newspapers.
___Newsies sell newspapers to people.
___Jack has stolen food.
___The police chase Jack.
___Jack, Dave, and Les run into a theater.
___They watch a singer in the theater.
___The newspaper bosses want to make more money from the Newsies.
___They wake up early.
___They live in the same place.
___They take some newspapers and sell them.
___The police chase them.
___They sit on the steps.
___Newsies discuss how their newspaper sale profit is getting lower.
___They decide to stop working.
___Newsies buy newspapers to sell.
___The police chase them.
___They run into a theater to see a friend of Jack’s father.
___They go to Jack’s house to meet his family.
___The Newsies go on strike.
___Cowboy teaches Les how to sell newspapers well.
___The police chase Cowboy.
___Cowboy steals food.
___The company increases the price of newspapers.
___Newsies want to get all the Newsies in New York City together.
___There are many boys that sell newspapers in New York City.
___Jack meets two boys, David and his brother, Les, on the street.
___Jack sees a detective so he runs into a theater.
___David and his family celebrate his dad’s birthday.
___The Newsies go on strike.
___The Newsies sell newspapers to make a living.
___Suddenly, the newspaper’s price gets higher.
___Cowboy wants a family.
     For labor solidarity, "Newsies" is the most important film Disney ever released. The film is a pathway into the notion of what a union is; great to show to middle and high school students in Taiwan, most useful because it sneaks up on them and has them on the side of the newspaper boy strikers before they realize they have aligned themselves correctly with class interests designed to raise their social “workers” consciousness while welcoming them to the world of the  English.
      Even at a low-intermediate level of proficiency, this can be done with the use of kinetic activities (contests, cooperative learning, arts and crafts, etc.) and through the media of song and film: a musical named "Newsies." 

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