North Korean Nuclear Debacle is Iran’s Debacle in Waiting

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

President Clinton was so eager to resolve the Korean nuclear threat, I believe he was willing to sign an agreement with North Korea written in snow and accept mist in promises. It would seem the negotiating team (part of whom were also amazingly brought in by President Obama for the Iran negotiations) were outclassed, outsmarted and outwitted. To the extent any person outside China actually believed China had or has any interest whatsoever in ending North Korea’s program, they are sadly misinformed. Communist China has directly benefited from North Korea’s bad acts for twenty years, and has continued to expertly play US presidents like fiddles, including Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump.

If there is no diplomatic solution now outside Communist China, one can look to the previous administrations for blame, each having to some degree allowed Communist China to have its way with them instead of taking steps to actually put an end to Korea’s nuclear program. It is too late now. With an ICBM in the oven, and hardened facilities under mountains and underground, there is little that can be done short of decapitation or immediate regime change, and even in that case, there is no telling what would follow the end of the Kim dynasty.

North Korea violated its Agreement during negotiations, while it was being drafted, moments after it was signed, and every day since then.

The trouble is, at the beginning, there was far more of a chance to take military action to stop North Korea from actually developing nuclear weapons technology and the weapons themselves, and with each succeeding year it became more difficult. Nothing was accomplished during the Bush Administration, and the final nails in the nuclear coffin were put in place during President Obama’s Oppeasement foreign policy debacle, repeated in rushed negotiations in horrible detail with Iran before Obama left office, a gift so to speak that will keep on giving for decades, and the full effect of which has not yet been felt around the world when Iran becomes a nuclear power (as it will under the dubious agreement).

Communist China and North Korea have played this game well for such a long time. CCP leaders pretend to call out North Korea, even vote in favor or abstain from heavy sanctions, but secretly violate those sanctions almost immediately. They call for patience, negotiations, peace in the region (for instance calling for cessation to joint military exercises between the US and South Korea), all as part of this grand scheme and game. Whenever Communist China needs a threat, it just winks at North Korea, and missiles are aloft, and dire warnings come from Beijing (“Woe is us, woe is us, what are we to do? Peace, negotiate, leave it to us”). This is usually followed by laughter in the CCP’s lair.

China will continue to prop up North Korea, secretly or otherwise, because it is the most useful tool in keeping the US in check, achieving its goals regarding Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, the South China sea, human rights, and a host of other issues it wishes the US to stay away from.

The longer we play this game of loser’s chess, the worse the situation grows. Pretending to be the peacemaker (and the environmentalist and the voice of reason and the next great source of trade and money) is China’s long term strategy to relegate the US to a back seat to its hegemony and intentions to remake the world in its own totalitarian image. North Korea is simply a tool in that game.

Just as Clinton did 25 years ago, Obama began the game with Iran several years ago. It does not end well. It never does, particularly when it is played by the JV team (led by President Obama whistling Kumbaya, Kerry and his merry band of fools and appeasers) and the quintessential flim-flam men from Iran. There was no contest. And now, President Obama, having been intent on singing Kumbaya instead of ending Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, and having prevented destruction of Iran’s facilities after developing the weapons to do so while it was actually possible, has ensured we are stuck with a nuclear Iran, something that can lead to disaster.

Good men doing nothing. This is the hallmark of diplomacy for the past twenty five years. When will anyone learn?

Project Syndicate still pushing for a Communist China led world.

Project Syndicate, the brainchild of George Soros has continued its love-in with China, promoting Communist China over and again as the new alternative to the United States as world leader. It is sickening, but Soros has shown his strong dislike for the United States, and his preference for totalitarian Communist China. So much for the preferences of billionaires.

In the Project Syndicate article “Multipolarity and the global order” (written by Javier Solana and published in the Taipei Times on June 28, 2017, page 8), Solana actually writes these words: “Rising powers such as China are equipped to act as responsible stakeholders.” What? In what possible world is that sentence true? Unless by “responsible” Solana means “brutal, totalitarian, ruthless, uncompromising, murderous, unfree, anti-human rights, bereft of due process, completely censored, and allies with the worst enemies of humanity on earth”.

Solana also said this: “The Belt and Road Initiative — which Xi has described as “the project of the century” — is a true reflection of China’s strategic choice to strengthen commercial links with the rest of Eurasia and Africa, taking advantage of the opportunity to accumulate “soft power.” What?!! Has Solana been drinking Beijing Koolaid? Taking advantage to accumulate soft power? Either Solana naively does not know that One Belt One Road is Communist China’s long-term strategy to infect Europe and Asia with Kommunist Kash and Kommunist Trade, Beijing’s Kommunist Party political philosophy and requirements (One China and other “core” issues) and its plan for a world of “democracy with Chinese characteristics”, which of course means “no democracy” under any circumstances, or he is so eager for Spain to benefit from Communist China’s “politiks 4 Kash” that he ignores it.

When he served as EU high representative for foreign and security policy, and as NATO secretary-general, Solana always impressed me as highly anti-American. His thesis in his article that the US has withdrawn from its traditional role as the only international superpower, appears to be based on the first 150 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. This thesis is faulty because if anything, Trump has done more in the first 150 days to assert the US footprint than Obama did in 8 years. All of the things Solana refers to as indicia of America’s withdrawal occurred on Obama’s watch, and that includes emasculating the US, singing Kumbaya with America’s worst enemies, and deferring to everyone else and his brother, including tragically Russia and Communist China.

There is no chance the EU will emerge as a prime actor on the international stage, except as a brake on getting things done. The EU members cannot agree among themselves what to call a bagel, much less decide on the burning issues of the day. And in fact, Solana, while mentioning the US in passing, really means that China can fill that role.

Does Solana not understand the UN has been paralyzed for decades because Russia and China have veto power? And that they always use that veto power to protect the evil flavor of the month?

There is an insidious propagada at play by those in countries where Kommunist Kash is most welcome to blithely promote China’s rise, and America’s demise. This should be troubling to any person supporting democracy, justice, and human rights.

A second Project Syndicate article “Looking for a candidate to fill the US’ shoes” by Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations published in the Taipei Times (June 28, 2017, Page 9) also discusses the alleged withdrawal of the U.S. from international leadership. Less ebullient about China, the article nevertheless assumes the US will not lead in the foreseeable future: “As a result, the US will no longer play the leading international role that has defined its foreign policy for three quarters of a century, under Democratic and Republican presidents alike.” Mr. Haass pulls no punches and makes this statement sound like a matter of fact. This is quite presumptuous, and betrays a disconnect caused by doubt in President Trump’s leadership, but actually missing historical rhythms which have been in place for decades.

Mr. Haass discusses how the US has abandoned its leadership with Trump’s America First policy, but truthfully the situations discussed are more the result of 8 years of President Obama’s international incompetence than Mr. Trump’s first 150 days.

And as Tony Giamporcaro correctly points out in his post at the Taipei Times regarding the article by Mr. Haass, pundits who keep promoting the notion the US is no longer the primary international force in the world, blaming it on President Trump, purportedly because of his non-traditional relations with allies and enemies, completely ignore the fact the US has been unable since World War II to really rely on its allies to actually pull their weight in facing real conflicts in the world, the EU and other allies more likely to act according their selfish or political economic interests than human rights or doing what is right. NATO is basically little without the participation of the United States.

And there is another point. Those same pundits seem also to ignore President Obama’s compete abandonement of all diplomatic precedent, booting allies and embracing enemies, his Kumbaya diplomacy and utter failure, leaving behind a world in flames and chaos.

But Mr. Haass does rightly conclude that the world’s wishful thinking that the US has withdrawn leaves a vaccum that cannot be filled by any other country in the world, nor by the EU collectively (“However, it is clear that there is no alternative great power willing and able to step in and assume what had been the US role.”) This has always been the case, and always will be the case. But Mr. Haass goes off on a tangent and imagines a combine of countries that together can fill the shoes of the US. but he concludes the world is more likely to regret the US is not back in that role.

I believe the US has gone it alone before and likely will continue to have to go it alone again to face sticky issues that no one else in the world has the wherewithal or courage to face. Responding to Syria’s chemical weapons attack is an example. And the irony is that whereas the red line was drawn by Obama, he was paralyzed to actually enforce it. Trump decisively enforced it within the first 100 days, and that sends a strong message to any country entertaining heinous actions.

I was somewhat heartened by Mr. Haass’s approach, though he arrived at his conclusion the world would miss an absent US in a somewhat fanciful and circuitous route.

We still need to be aware every time we read a Project Syndicate article just what Soros is selling us. There is a serious disconnect with the good the US does, and the outright evil inherent in strategies employed by Russia and China.

 

 

A Father’s Day Tale For my father, the wizard of conundrums: The Conundrum

 

The man sat before the gate. He had been there a long, long time, waiting for it to open. He had knocked, he had banged, he had called out, he had waved (to no one, for no one was there, as far as he could see) and he had tried to climb over (impossible, alas, as the gate was so high, the top could not be seen). The man sat down on the ground near the gate and sighed, tired and frustrated. He cursed the gate, and threw his shoe at it. There was no sound, just the continuing wind, at times whistling through the gate.

Beyond the gate, he could see trees, and lakes, birds flying gracefully, frolicking in the water, lazy clouds drifting in a perfectly azure sky, and a huge sun floating in the sky like an orange balloon. The man looked around him. The ground was rocky, the grass coarse and brown, the trees burnt and gnarled. The sky was a continual ominous gray, thunder rumbling constantly, the wind chilly and penetrating. The man turned his collar up against the elements, and banged with his shoe against the gate once more, calling loudly. “Will someone open this damn gate?!!”  No response just made his blood boil all the more. He sat again, and buried his face in his hands.

After some time, the man heard the rustling of rocks, and looking up, noticed a figure walking towards him from behind the gnarled trees, along the rocky path, picking his way carefully among the stones and harsh grass. He was obviously cold, his clothes fairly wet. As he approached the man at the gate, the stranger smiled.

“Hello. Didn’t expect to find anyone here,” the stranger said.

“Where’d you come from?” the man said.

“Over the hill. Seems like I’ve been walking for days, or months, don’t know really. Just found myself here. Nasty rain back there. I’m afraid we’re in for a real storm pretty soon. Damn cold. Goes right through you.”

“It’s not so bad over there,” the man said, pointing to the other side of the fence.

“So it is,” said the stranger, “so it is.”  He walked toward the gate and peered through the shiny, golden bars towards the other side. “Seems like it’s a different world over there, really. Damn nice gate, this is too.”

“Damn annoying gate, if you ask me,” the man said. “Can’t get it open. Nothing will. We’re stuck here, that’s what.”

“Well, I can’t believe there isn’t a way over there. There must be. Have you looked around?  Thought of anything?”

“Well, I’ve hung around this gate for it seems like eons already. Doesn’t budge, not one bit. No one around either.”

The stranger looked around. He could see the gate itself was quite high, so high he couldn’t see the top. He stood back and just looked straight up. “Fascinating isn’t it? Who could’ve built such a marvelous gate?”

“Marvelous?  I wouldn’t call it that. So marvelous no one can get in. How marvelous is that?”  The man made a rude noise at the gate.

“Well, I suppose that’s its purpose, of course – to keep people out. So, from that standpoint, it is marvelous, isn’t it?  So high and mighty, no one could even dream about climbing over or breaking in through this gate.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re so interested in praising the thing that is standing between you and what looks like a very pleasant other side!”

“Yes, well, I’m just admiring someone’s handiwork. But, I suppose someone who had the talent to build this amazing obstacle, must have designed a way for people he’d want to get in to pass through.”

“Why would you say that?  Maybe the purpose of this damn gate in the first place is to just keep everyone out, period!!”

“Well, certainly could be true. But, I still think there’s an answer here, if only we were to look for it.”

The man looked at the stranger. “Well, suit yourself. I’m not wasting my time trying to figure out how to get past that gate. I’ll just keep pounding on it with my shoe until someone answers the damn thing!”

The stranger looked at the man, and shook his head. “Well, I’m going to give it a try.” He turned and walked away, down along the fence that led away from the gate towards their right. The fence extended to the horizon, seemingly for endless miles, until it faded into the distance, merely a faint line. Soon, the stranger came to a part of the fence that appeared a little different. The fence there seemed to dip a little bit, and wasn’t as high, though it was too high to climb. But there was some artwork near the top, and some vines creeping down the fence at that point.

The artwork was too high up to see, but he could faintly make out words – some kind of inscription. He looked at the vines, and put his foot on one to test whether it would support his weight. It did, easily. He began to climb towards the top of the fence so he could see the writing there. As he climbed, he noticed that as high as he climbed, he came no nearer to the top. It seemed to loom high above him as far away as when he was on the ground. The vines did not go all the way up, and he saw as he went up that he could not climb over the fence here. Still, the stranger wanted to know what the writing said. As he rose high above the ground, the stranger felt close enough to the artwork to now see it more clearly. Towards the top of the fence, which bore pointed spears sharp enough to thread a needle, there was a white marble sign, carved in intricate script, the letters virtually etched into a floral design of incredible beauty. Two exquisite white unicorns held the sign aloft on either side. He stopped climbing and read it.

“To All Who May Come This Way – Curiosity and the Quest for Knowledge May Be Your Guide. While Others May Not See What Hidden Value Lies Within A Conundrum’s Supple Walls, You Need Only Inquire, and an Answer May Appear”.

The man thought to himself, what a curious message to carve into artwork truly too high up to see from the ground below. He looked down, and realized he was quite high up. He looked around to see if there was any other writing, and finding none, he quickly descended to the ground. He thought about the message, and searched his mind for what the clues hidden there might mean. Something about the sign seemed familiar to him. He turned back to the way he had come, and retraced his steps to the massive gate. When he arrived there, he found the man asleep near a pillar of the gate.

The stranger stood back and looked at the gate again, trying to see if there was any message engraved in it. The gate bore only the shiny golden finish, and some very beautiful etched carvings. He searched each bar, each cross strut, and the ground around the gate. No solution suggested itself. He began to think of other possibilities. He stood back and looked at the fence, and then at the pillars themselves, massive stone columns.

It was then he noticed for the first time that the pillars had shape to them. He stepped back a bit more, and saw that each was the massive leg of an even more massive unicorn, partly etched, partly in bas-relief across the gate, and along the fence. The stranger walked slowly towards the gate, glancing at the pillars, up and down, bringing his face close to first one, then the other. He stood considering them. Then, abruptly, his face twisted, his eye twitching into a wink, as he had a sudden realization.

He laughed to himself, and then walked to the left column, and ran his hand along the smooth surface feeling the minute indentations. His fingers traced along an intricate design, and came to rest just at the juncture of what appeared to be the etching of two small unicorns. First he stroked the etching, and when nothing happened, he pushed it.

A voice cascaded from the direction of the gate, though no one was there.

“May I help you?” the voice intoned.

“May I come through?” the stranger asked.

“Certainly,” the voice replied, and the gate swung open. The stranger strode through the gate, and it closed behind him. He smelled the freshness of the air, and felt the sunlight on his skin, which was already losing its chill. He followed a marble path towards a hillside, and found himself standing in the center of a great hallway. A tall man with a white robe stood against a unicorn statue.

“Any questions?” the tall man asked.

“Many,” the stranger replied, “and none,” he finished. The tall man smiled.

“Your favorites were Sunday Times?” the tall man asked.

“Definitely, but the London Sunday Times were the hardest” he replied, not sure why he understood so clearly. “This one was particularly interesting.”

“It is the inquiring mind which brought you through” the tall man said. “You were trained to think creatively, look for solutions, not pine about obstacles. This was just another great puzzle for you.”

The stranger paused, thinking. “Why hasn’t that poor man outside come through?” the stranger said.

“Oh, him. He’s been there for ages. Just keeps banging that damn shoe on the gate.”

The stranger shuddered. It was so simple, and yet so powerful. He looked at the azure sky, and the perfect, blue sea. Behind him, back through the gate, crawled the mist and fog, the thunder and storms. He glanced at the man curled against the column, huddled and shivering, and turned back to the birds and butterflies frolicking along the green arbor, and walked on.

The man sat before the gate. He had been there a long, long time, waiting for it to open. He had knocked, he had banged, he had called out, he had waved and he had tried to climb over. The man sat down on the ground near the gate and sighed, tired and frustrated. He cursed the gate, and threw his shoe at it. There was no sound, just the continuing wind, at times whistling through the gate.

Despising the Chinese Communist Party and supporting Taiwan independence doesn’t bar affinity for the Chinese people

An editorial in the Taipei Times (“China to blame for cross-strait divide” June 13, 2017, Page 8) discusses recent comments made by Southern Taiwan’s Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) regarding his affinity for China, though it is widely known he supports Taiwan independence.  Taiwan’s Chinese Nationalist Party’s (“KMT”) inability to understand Mayor Lai’s comments, and the responses by KMT adherents and Ma’s acolytes proves the KMT is bereft of any sense any longer about the differences between China and Taiwan, or of the relationship between the two. Former President Ma Pantu (Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)) for so long had his head inside China’s buttocks that he could no longer see Taiwan, and the KMT followed him in there, and has been rotting inside for years now. Former KMT Chairwoman Hung opened an office in there, and considers herself a KMT Chinese.

The trouble with the KMT, since it first invaded Taiwan, raped, pillaged and occupied it, is that it never left China, and never allowed any space in its heart for Taiwan, which it considered at best a temporary parking place to be left behind when it gained back its rule over China.

Taiwanese are not Chinese citizens. The KMT, like China, believes all people of Chinese race are citizens of China, which is completely wrong. People have traveled the earth for thousands of years, and have become citizens of the places they now inhabit, not just people of Chinese descent, but of all races. Communist China is too weak to understand or accept this. Race has been diluted a thousand thousand times throughout history in many cases by having mingled for thousands of years among the peoples of the world.

In my posts the past fifteen years I have made it clear I harbor no ill feelings towards the people of China, I respect their long history, and sympathize with their downtrodden plight, even if they do not understand the depths of iniquity to which the Communist Party have dragged them, through no fault of their own. That I despise the government over which they have no control has nothing to do with them.

It is reasonable for someone who supports Taiwan independence to speak of affinity for China. We would all love to see a world where neighbors work together for a better world, not where one huge neighbor seeks to convert all who fall under its spell to its evil brand of tyranny. The KMT cannot see this, it can only see its lost seat at the head of a long gone imperial table. It is blinded by greed, avarice, racism and corruption, and it is not fit to rule (just like the CCP is not fit to rule).

This attack on Lai by the KMT is not only unbecoming, it shows the KMT’s complete disconnect between being Taiwanese and having a relationship with China. I sympathize with the KMT minions, trying to judge the weather outside while having been locked inside the buttocks of a giant troll. I’m sure most Taiwanese agree with me on this.

“Terrorism blowback” is just a convenient excuse – the causes and the solution come from within Islam only

I ran across Professor Brahma Chellaney’s article on the Strategist website entitled “How to stop terrorism in Europe” from September 2016. When I read his article published here today (Taipei Times, June 10, 2017, P. 9), I thought of the two articles together, and thought I would address Professor Chellaney’s propositions, which while detailed are simplistic.

 First, one proposition in the former article caught my attention. Professor Chellaney says: “The problem is not Islam, as many populists claim…. Today, that threat results from radical Islamism—a fundamentalist vision of society reordered according to Sharia law.” I can agree with this, for the most part.

 Going further, Professor Chellaney would seem to agree with one of the principal tenets of the Trump administration: “Beyond enduring untold suffering and violence, many of today’s refugees, from war-torn countries … have imbibed radical Islamist ideology and, specifically, calls to jihad. Some might be Islamic State fighters who have disguised themselves as asylum-seekers, in order to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe. US intelligence officials have repeatedly warned of this possibility.”

 The solution? Well, Professor Chellaney says “To many in Europe, these factors suggest that the key to keeping Europe safe is controlling the flow of refugees, including through improved vetting procedures.” But he rightfully observes that “…not even constructing a Fortress Europe would eliminate the terrorist threat. After all, some attacks, including in Brussels and Paris, have been carried out by Muslim European citizens who became radicalized in their own bedrooms.”

 And thus the simplistic answer: “The only way to address the threat of terrorism effectively is to tackle the radical Islamist ideology that underpins it.” Easier said than done, but there is something in there that Professor Chellaney overlooks that is absolutely correct. Professor Chellaney focuses on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and then suggests launching an information campaign to discredit the ideology, and then compares this to the success the West achieved against communism.

While there is something that seems correct about this (ignoring the vast distinction between Communism and deeply rooted religion), there is still one determinative thing that is missing.

Professor Chellaney rather simplistically concludes “To take down the terrorists requires delegitimizing the belief system that justifies their actions.” This is completely accurate. As if the West can do anything to discredit this extreme form of Islam (especially when the far left cannot even bring themselves to say the words “Islam” and “terrorism” in the same sentence).

 No, the point missing is this. Discrediting radical Islamist ideology is the only solution, and that must come from inside Islam itself, not from the West. Until Muslim leaders around the world stand up against radical Islam, there can be no solution. Until there are speeches and fatwahs by these leaders against terrorism, there can be no solutions that do not involve war and fighting and many innocent deaths. Until the ideology underpinning the ISIS rise is demonized from within Islam itself there will continue to be a long line of those willing to kill brutally in its name.

There are valuable insights in Professor Chellaney’s earlier article, but only half a solution, somewhat timidly presented, avoiding the real issue, can Islam learn to police itself and rid itself of this extremism? We have no business bringing down this hateful violent ideology from the outside. Islam must cleanse itself of this cancer.

 The article today “The age of blowback terror from Western interventionism” is just another Project Syndicate anti-America anti-West piece (from deep within George Soros’ viewpoint, I suppose). I bridle at the notion that liberal thinkers love to blame liberal Western democracies for the ills in the Middle-east, ignoring the fact that those conflicts actually predate the United States by at least 500 years. The Iraq war did not cause terrorism, it resulted from terrorism. Saddam, Ghadaffy, these men were brutal dictators who murdered hundreds of thousands of their own people.  To weep on one hand when we do not give aid to the Castros’ Cuba, which also has murdered many of its people, but decry helping the people of Iraq and Libya throw off the shackles of madmen is hypocritical, at best.

 It is true however that Iraq spawned ISIS, when President Obama ran away. Had he not, it is doubtful ISIS would have sprung from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or at least there would have been a greater chance to contain it.

 “Blame America” is Project Syndicate’s favorite mantra. However, I am perplexed by Professor Chellaney’s final thought: “As the US and its allies continue to face terrorist blowback, it is hoped that Trump comes to his senses, and helps to turn the seemingly interminable War on Terror that Bush launched in 2001 into a battle that can actually be won.”

 Is he referring to the ideological battle to kill the underpinnings of radical Islam, or something on the battlefield, or both? As I said before, the ideological battle must take place within the confines of Islam itself. The Muslim world must decide for itself whether it wants war or peace. Trump went directly to Saudi Arabia and began the dialogue to face this threat to peace. What follows remains to be seen.

 Golda Meir said it best so very long ago (60 years ago?), that “we won’t have peace until the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”  It still seems true today.

Don’t believe everything you read in Project Syndicate articles, particularly those regarding China.  I do thank Professor Chellaney for his two articles which provided the very thoughtful and detailed discussion which invited my comments here today. I can always appreciate an erudite argument from which to form an opinion.

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.