It was a dark moment in our history…

I want to tell a story. Many of you may know what I am talking about. There was a time in this country when people were persecuted because of ideology. For their belief in certain ideals and certain principles, they were excoriated, treated as dirt, accused of treason against the principles of the United States, vilified and shamed.

They lost their livelihoods, they were prevented from undertaking their professions, they were blacklisted, blackmailed, and forced to hide their beliefs. In fact, those who were accused, had to publicly reject those beliefs and swear allegiance to the vocal majority. Anyone associated with this ideology was scrutinized, humiliated in the press, on TV and in all forms of communication. Even members of Congress conducted witch hunts to find people who might share these beliefs, as they believed and charged those beliefs were dangerous to our American way of life.

The effect was felt most deeply in the entertainment world, where any entertainer who was associated with this ideology, or even simply agreed to perform for a group of people who were accused of having this ideology were blacklisted, essentially barred from performing again in the industry. People were cowed, and afraid to even associate with anyone remotely affiliated with this ideology.

I think you know what I am talking about. It was a dark time in our history. Thinking about this unfortunate, unfair, reactionary, ruthless attack on an ideology made many people sick, to believe this could happen in America.

But I’m not talking about McCarthy or McCarthyism, about his witch hunts and blacklists.

In fact, I am talking about hypocrisy. I am talking about the liberal progressive people out there who pretend to cling to left wing “progressive and liberal” politics and social awareness and freedoms and free speech…and yet, when it was time to prepare for the inauguration of the new President of the United States, the entertainment industry reacted with…blacklists? Is it possible to repeat what happened with McCarthy? Did Hollywood and the music and entertainment industry really make it known that anyone who had anything to do with the inauguration would be blacklisted, they would be ostracized, humiliated, cast out? Just for having anything to do with….an ideology they despised? Is it possible?

During this time, despite my Democratic Party upbringing, and my lifelong liberal views, I found myself disgusted in ways I could not describe. To think my uncle had been accused of an “ideology” by the McCarthy board on fake grounds, and cleared, and then 65 years later the same thing would be done to any entertainer who would even consider playing the Inauguration an honor, to attempt to make sure anyone who supported the new President knew that anyone supporting his political view would be essentially ostracized from the industry turned my stomach.

I never thought I would see the day “Democratic Party” was spelled “h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y”. Never.

Just imagine the hue and cry, and the arrests and prosecution were someone to hold up a prop representing the bloody severed head of President Obama, or put on a play of Julius Caesar with an Obama lookalike as the Emperor, and have him stabbed 97 times. Hypocrisy. At its absolute worst.

I don’t agree with much of what is going on in the White House. But our system of government is based on this electoral process, and our pendulum swings every four or eight years, and through those shifts in policy and ideology our ship of state runs mostly in the middle, which is why it has survived so well for 241 years thus far. It is a time of trouble, and the last eight years left us and the world more divided than it has been in many many years. I am not sure this is the time to heal the division, but it is certain time for soul-searching and self-examination, on both sides. Both sides. The notion that the Left’s excrement somehow resembles roses is nauseating every time I hear it. We are better than this, all of us.

This is especially for Peter Beinart*, who apparently used hypocrisy in his article in the Atlantic, but does not understand the enormous irony in having done so, as the Democratic Party has descended into McCarthyism itself, and has apparently lost all judgment on what democracy and freedom of speech means in the United States.

* https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/enough-with-the-charges-of-democratic-hypocrisy/526290/

Same-sex marriage – the Constitution supersedes majority rule

The Constitution supersedes majority rule. This might sound strange in a democracy but it is true. A constitution is intended to enshrine fundamental rights which are natural and expected among the people governed by it. In Taiwan, Article 173 of the Constitution provides that the Judicial Yuan interprets the Constitution.
Those who oppose same-sex marriage argue the Constitution should be amended to forbid it. I feel they do not understand the sanctity of the Constitution, or why it is sacrosanct.
Most constitutions cannot be amended lightly, and not amended except by a super majority, and in the case of the US, by 3/4 of the state legislatures voting on an amendment proposed by 2/3 of the U.S. House and Senate. In Taiwan, the requirements for amendment are similar, requiring more than a simple majority in the Assembly to approve a resolution (by the Assembly itself requiring one fifth of the members to recommend a resolution, and then three fourths of the members present approving with a quorum of at least two thirds voting) or by referendum proposed by one fourth of the Assembly and approved by resolution of three fourths of the Members present and voting at a meeting with three fourths present. Article 174 of the Constitution).
Why is a simple majority insufficient? Isn’t democracy ordinarily a system based on majority votes? Yes, but the Constitution enshrines principles that in fact among other things are rights of the people protected against the majority, preventing those fundamental principles from being amended lightly, simply by virtue of a majority of popular opinion (in which case that basic fabric of life under that Constitution would sway with the political winds each time an administration changes). These principles, like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, due process, equal protection are so ingrained in a democratic society they all transcend majority rule, and are intended to withstand political turmoil.
In the article entitled “Same-sex Marriage: Same-sex marriage decision sparks fury” on P. 3 of the May 25, 2017 paper, anger against the Grand Justices’ ruling holding legalization of same-sex marriage was required by the Constitution was typified by the following: “The interpretation represents “the elite of the nation’s judiciary system bullying the majority opinion of the public,” alliance convener Yu Hsin-yi (游信義) said, adding that it is wrong for the “lawmaking body to interfere with justice.””
First, the Judicial Yuan is not a lawmaking body, it is among other things the Constitutional Court in Taiwan and the sole body charged with interpreting the Constitution. Its interpretation is not interfering with justice but rather defining justice. In China, justice is defined as whatever the Chinese Communist Party says it is. Taiwan is far more enlightened.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the decision on same-sex marriage, people on the street must understand the sacred and higher nature of the Constitution, something that is intended to be eternal and transcendent, and the interpretation of Constitutional principles (in this case equal protection under the law under Article 7) outweighs the majority’s view, absent the overwhelming super-majority needed to change those fundamental principles.
It is true that interpretations of the Constitution (by the Grand Council of Justices in Taiwan and the US Supreme Court in the US) may change with the changes in the composition of the Court over time, though hopefully not altering the nature of those fundamental principles, but continuing to interpret them in light of the evolution of society. Whether or not the Constitution is an immutable document that is not susceptible to changing interpretation is a question plaguing many on both sides of the political spectrum.
The issue of same-sex rights is not something contemplated by Constitutions written more than one or two hundred  years ago, and so interpreters of the Constitutions are faced with assessing how those fundamental rights come into play with these changes in society. There is no better example of the wide range of judicial “tolerance” or “intolerance” of same-sex issues as have occurred in the news the past few days, where on one hand enlightened Taiwan has said its Constitution is tolerant and same sex couples should be allowed to get married, and in Indonesia, where a gay couple is not only not allowed to marry, but is not even allowed to exist, two individuals publicly beaten with canes more than eighty lashes for having engaged in “criminal” homosexual activity. On which side of the spectrum should Taiwan stand?
The Council of Grand Justices has decided that issue. It is not surprising considering the origins of Taiwan’s Constitution (related to some extent to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (and the words “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth”), and the fact the United States Supreme Court in 2015 came to the same conclusion, also  with great controversy, regarding same-sex marriage.
Whichever side of the case one stands on, the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution are broader than a single issue, are not subject to political whim, and are intended to endure.

New York Times Seems to Prefer China’s One Belt One Road One Noose One Way to the US ~ Has the Old Gray Lady Gone Mad?

The NY Times published an article out of Beijing by Jane Perlez and Keith Bradsher (also carried in the Taipei Times on May 18, 2017, p. 9 “Xi positions China at center of a new economic order”) which seems to speak of China President Xi Jinping’s One Belt One Road as an alternative to the “inward-looking” United States under President Trump. As I discuss below, when I read the opening I felt so much disappointment with the Old Grey Lady, which in its recent articles offering somewhat glowing reviews of Xi’s plan symbolizes the hypocrisy of leaning so far left that the extreme right seems only seconds away and fascism looks promising. How can the Times not recognize Xi’s true nature? Is it because he smiles as he threads the hook? Because he speaks lovingly of the poor and the disadvantaged as he weaves a web of deceit and oppression and has his security troops beat those poor and disadvantaged who complain at home into the ground?

Prattling on about the details of Xi’s plan, the article nowhere discusses the true nature of the plan, and does not mention the doublespeak and innuendos in the plan (see my earlier post One Belt One Road One Noose One Way). I understand writing from Beijing one is limited in what one can say negatively about China. For this reason, the Times should stop publishing puff pieces and innocuous analysis from Beijing of a plan which has as its central tenet garnering world influence, destroying democracy, and effecting China’s dream of changing the world so that its dictatorship is the norm, not the exception.

I feel betrayed by the New York Times, but that is nothing new apparently. The article contains so many holes, it is difficult to address them all. Suffice it to say that the article hardly addresses the insidious strategy of China’s so called One Belt One Road program (which in reality is China’s One Belt One Road One Noose One Way) to construct Trojan horses which can be inserted into any number of the participants in its ‘new economic order’ (a ridiculous way of describing Xi’s plan to corrupt as much of the world as possible) to bring about a situation where China holds all the cards, and countries participating must kneel to China or else risk ruin.

The “economic” plan is not economic at all except to the extent the Kommunist Kash involved while masked as generous loans for infrastructure, is used for blackmail and extracting political concessions to Beijing’s One China rule, its hegemony and its intention to impose its Socialism with Chinese Characteristics (which means “follow Beijing or else”) throughout the new One Road, which is basically merely One Noose.

I have written several times about this and about Project Syndicate’s articles promoting China as an alternative to the US recently in posts here and at the Taipei Times. If international news organizations keep leaving out the animus behind China’s proposal, we will have to keep calling them out on these incomplete analyses and provide our own more direct and clear analysis. China is not saving the world. It is planning to pound the world into China’s own shape.

I heard a song recently called “I’m Not Clay” by a young American singer (Grace VanderWaal). I thought of this song recently because it is a ballad to staying true to yourself.

There are countries along the proposed new silk road where China intends to implant its tentacles, squeezing until eventually they must all obey China’s “core interests”, allow China to continue to spread the influence of its tyranny, and to obligingly intone its mantras, fearful to say anything untoward about the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship, until they are remade into fawning followers of Beijing.

The NY Times article does not discuss the most important point about One Belt One Road One Noose One Way. China cannot remake democracy into dictatorship nor turn free people into supporters of its tyranny, no matter how widely Xi smiles and how hard China tries. Frankly, we are not clay.

China’s One Belt One Road One Noose One Way

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) weekend forum for his One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way] project just ended. As with anything orchestrated by Communist China, there are dangers and intrigue inherent in the plans and the strategy, because it is China’s ambition to purchase influence and fealty around the globe, a kind of immunization against any discussion of its totalitarian system of oppression, hegemony and its plan to remake the world with Chinese Characteristics. Xi, as always, spoke “sincerely” of “mutual respect of one another’s sovereignty, territory and “core interests.” This is one of the key dogmas in China’s initiative of One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way].

A thorough article for Reuters/Beijing (‘Silk Road’ plan stirs unease over China’s strategic goals, Taipei Times, Mar. 6, 2017, p. 9) sets out some of the practical concerns the international community may have about the plan. The article mentions that “Xi’s speech also drew implicit contrast between Chinese-style development objectives and those of the West, saying the initiative will not resort to ‘outdated geopolitical maneuvering’.”

Together, these two points mean that China’s strategy is to hide the evil inherent in the Chinese Communist Party’s one-party dictatorship rule over China in plain view by “suggesting” for the millionth time that countries must respect sovereignty, territory (in other words China will claim whatever territory it deems part of China, including Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, parts of the Moon and possibly Mars if it can get there first) and “core interests”, which means don’t even think of messing around with the CCP’s suppression of all freedoms in Communist China or trying to introduce democracy, human rights or justice there anytime soon, or fail to intone the One China Policy.

Xi’s project will throw tens of billions of dollars at needy or greedy countries willing to do business with the devil, kneel to the devil, and, unbeknownst to them, invite the devil to dinner and get on the Silk Road which is a one-way ticket to Hell. China’s currency has always been propaganda and blackmail. If you want Kommunist Kash, you have to pretend One China is true, even though the world knows Taiwan is not part of Communist China, and that China is not the world’s worst offender of human rights in the universe. For the right amount of Kash, or pretend effort to reign in North Korea, it seems to be no problem for Europe and even for Trump.

“The Chinese government has never wished to control any other country’s government,” according to Ou Xiaoli (歐曉理), a Chinese Cabinet official. Except controlling Taiwan. And Tibet. And Hong Kong. And the South China Sea. And all references to the one-party system in China. And talking about the Great Firewall of China. And Falun Gong. And the Chinese Catholic Church. And the Dalai Lama – and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the kidnapped real Panchen Lama and the Chinese Communist Party replacement fake Panchen Lama. And North Korea. And Japan. And Democracy. And Human Rights, whatever those are. And Censorship. And Freedom of Speech. And freedom of religion. And due process, whatever that is. And speaking ill of the Chinese Communist Party revolution.

The article notes that “China often is the only entity willing to finance big projects in poor countries. That gives Beijing leverage to require use of Chinese builders and technology.” This is good old-fashioned Colonization with Chinese Characteristics. China will go into a poor country, give the corrupt leadership Kommunist Kash with no strings attached (other than those mentioned in the previous paragraph), but no requirements that the government of the new “colony” be democratic or practice human rights, whatever those are, or benefit the people of the country, rape the natural resources China needs to take, bring in multitudes of Chinese workers under CCP control to do the work, and add another “ally” to the list of who will vote blindly for anything China wishes. Perhaps ultimately we will see a United Chinese Union which will be comprised of all these “colonies” that China has acquired using Kommunist Kash, which will become a bloc of anti-western democratic principles and human rights, whatever those are, and pro-Chinese socialism with Chinese Characteristics, which means an alternate world of dictatorship and tyranny, a silent and impotent United Nations (sort of like today) controlled by China and its allies, the Diktator’s Klub.

One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way] is an insidious very long-term strategy to infect many nations around the globe with China’s own brand of governing and civil society from within, a creeping, silent and devastating darkness designed to cripple democracy and dissent, destroy justice and freedom, and strangle human rights. Xi simply wishes to create a world just like China in each and every country. We simply must not allow it.

China, the World’s Second Most Powerful Country, Operates in Secret

Doug Bandow wrote an excellent article regarding the need for transparency in China’s politics in Sunday’s newspaper (“China politics need transparency” P. 6, http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2017/05/14/2003670538). One cannot agree more.

However, while we may hope for such transparency, there is much to fear from China’s rise, which despite Xi Jinping’s smiling assurances, is anything but peaceful, and promises to be a full on attempt to create anti-US sentiment, sell China as a “peaceful” replacement superpower, increase China’s propaganda and blackmail, draw trade to China without offering equal opportunities to foreign business in China, and create more and more Chinese cultural, political, financial, technological and diplomatic viruses, insidious, long-term, subtle tentacles designed to slowly infect the world with China’s totalitarian form of existence, its intolerant view of the separation between government and the daily life and thoughts of common people, and its “everything with Chinese characteristics”.

As I wrote recently, the One Belt One Road project is nothing more than a Chinese noose designed to ensnare all who come to play on the new Silk Road and weave China into the fabric of every single country participating, essentially making trade (and hence diplomacy) seamless between them and one of the world’s worst serial violators of human rights, justice, and freedom, and friend to evil regimes around the world. But you will not hear much from these governments about that, because of the enormous trade potential China dangles before them, and its “conditions”, otherwise known as strings, for being allowed to feed at China’s trough. Those strings require obedience to China’s “core interests”, which mean respecting its hegemony and totalitarianism, and suppression of all freedom in China and following its instructions regarding Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong.

Mr. Bandow mentions the coming transfer of power in China and the re-election of Xi Jinping (習近平). However, it is the next transfer of power in 5 years that will be most telling. Xi is only 63 at present, which will make him 68 for the next transfer. One might ask, running the world’s second largest economy and military, why do we know the outcome of the election, even if secret? It would appear, following his consolidation of power, such that he now maintains the three most powerful positions in China, head of the Party, head of the government and head of the military, that Xi’s eye is on another 10 year term following the end of his first ten years. What happens in the next five years regarding Party high echelons will give a clue, not polls of voters or campaign speeches or promises. As Mr. Bandow notes, the process by which this would happen is completely hidden. It is the nature of Beijing’s survival all these years, squelching discussion of internal matters, and filtering discussion of external facts. Suppression is in the Chinese Communist Party’s DNA.

As Mr. Bandow observed regarding the opaqueness of this process, “It is a bad system for the PRC and the rest of the world.”

As for hoping for change, one need only look at the treatment by Beijing of Hong Kong and Taiwan to see the nature of the Chinese Communist Party’s dictatorial rule and utter refusal to allow even the slightest deviation from the CCP’s absolute power, though Taiwan, a completely independent democratic nation of 23 million requires continued support from the free world to keep out of reach of China’s claws.

China’s system of baiting foreign investors and companies to trade with China and do business there also involves unfairly treating them, targeting them, favoring local companies, watching over their theft of those foreign companies’ IP and assets, with the Party’s complete control of the outcome of any litigation, as the Courts are merely an extension of the Communist Party. The more trade with China, the more dangerous the outcome for any trade partner, as trade can be reduced as the Communist Party directs in order to squeeze any trading partner.  South Korea realized this when China cut tourism 40% when South Korea bought the THAAD system. Taiwan is also an example, where election of the opposition independence-minded DPP party resulted in China closing most avenues for benefit from doing business with China (e.g. tourism, trade, allowing Taiwan international space).

Clearly, as I have seen from watching China’s “rise”, it is willing only to imitate those foreign indicia of “freedom” without understanding them or meaning them, while quietly continuing its brutality, and making a show of liberalizing its economy and its government, while not effecting any real change at all, and having beguiled nations to try to make money from China’s trade, but forcing them to intone Beijing’s mantras, and look the other way as the price of getting their hands on Kommunist Kash. As China gets more and more international recognition as a major player in world affairs, it will become harder and harder to hold off its march against democracy and freedom.

Mr. Bandow has hit the nail on the head. China has great potential, but the lure of absolute power is very difficult to resist, and even more difficult to give up, especially for a government accustomed to simply getting and taking what it wants.

Pursue the Truth

via Daily Prompt: Pursue

Most people avoid the difficult path, but as Robert Frost wrote in the Road Not Taken, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

The most difficult path of all is the path to truth. It is often obstructed by fear and denial, by guile and by weakness, by sloth and by bad intentions, by closed minds and by ill-intentioned open wallets.

Some truth is hard truth, some is obvious, though often ignored, some truth is obscure, having to be ferreted out, some truth is right in front of you, though at times too large to be seen. Some truth is scary, some is exciting, some is dangerous, some beguiling.

The thing is, the pursuit of truth should be one of our daily aims, to dig it out where it cannot be easily found, to illuminate it where is has been buried by doubts and lies, half-truths and propaganda, to put it on display where it has been suppressed by dogma, by stubbornness and by politics, and to teach it where it has been abandoned or obscured in the name of political correctness.

The pursuit of truth is both satisfying and exhilarating, and putting it on display can be like creating a canvas or object of light and beauty.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty – That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn.

Project Syndicate’s China Propaganda Machine – George Soros Promoting a World Led by Communist China’s Totalitarian System

A May 8, 2017 article from Project Syndicate (“Lessons of China’s industrial policy”) contains yet another fawning admiration piece on China’s rise, again suggesting the US could learn from China’s economic “success”. It reads like a Soviet era propagandist puff piece on the Party’s successes and progress, while ignoring the oppression and misery the Party visits on its people every single day.

Curiously, the piece fails to mention even once that China’s economy and markets are controlled completely by the Chinese Communist Party government, there is no competition not permitted by the government and the only reason China can have 20 year plans is because the Chinese Communist Party intends to remain in power with an iron grip on every detail of Chinese life for the “forseeable future” (which in the Chinese Communist Party Manual of Commonly Misunderstood Terms is defined as “forever”). But this apparently is not even a blip on Project Syndicate’s radar. George Soros is trying hard to remake the world in a “socialist” model, though it is hard to see how China fits into that mold, except for the totalitarianism, oppression, absence of justice or law, and a country ruled with an iron fist that is often the hallmark of socialism.

While Messrs. Kozul-Wright and Poon extol the virtues of China’s CM2025 (basically a roadmap for taking over industrial might in the world through blackmail, industrial espionage, theft of intellectual property, removal of competition with Chinese firms, and funding according to the Communist Party’s political objectives) they have completely ignored China’s animus in its quest for dominance – the victory of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and the end to democracy. Yes, Soros will say that China has no such dreams, yet every day we can see how China can strangle almost any adversary economically, first offering money, then more money, then forcing the Kommunist Kash addict to intone China’s platitudes and mantras (such as the One China Policy), and with smiles and seemingly benign kindness, China will own various countries critical to its supply chain, in particular raw materials and rare earth metals

The authors marvel at China’s goal of producing 75% of domestic chipsets in ten years, where today it is just 46% – why is this a good thing? It means that China will either steal technology to accomplish that, or buy chipmakers. Woe to the world if China corners that market. Then it will be able to bring the world, addicted to smart phones and all other technological advances, to its knees, and possibly we will see most other manufacturers disappear and the Chinese smartphone emerge as the leader – except who can trust what a Chinese phone producer puts in its phones and what Beijing listens to?

You see, when democracies trade, they may beat each other up, but they are not out to kill each other. China is out to kill every single democracy on earth by economic means, until all roads lead to Beijing. The only way Beijing can accomplish this is through its own propaganda, which operates 24/7, and with the help of sycophants like Project Syndicate, the child of George Soros, who apparently despises the United States so much he is willing to love Beijing.

Beware these insidious articles by Project Syndicate that attempt to soften the totalitarian Chinese Communist regime (or fail to mention it at all) to beguile its readers into believing China has become a kinder gentler nation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Beware!! Do not let Project Syndicate become a mouthpiece for the dictators in Beijing, because complicity with a regime that denies human rights and justice as a matter of course endangers the world.

When is Project Syndicate going to come clean about China and speak frankly about China’s human rights abuses and strangulation of freedom of speech?