NFL Players Kneel for the Anthem – TV Audiences Turn Off the NFL – Free Speech Goes Both Ways

To be sure the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of free speech in its First Amendment allows anyone to criticize the government, but exercising free speech does not mean you are free from that speech having consequences. Of course, the government cannot take action against the speaker or the speech, but some free speech is intended to provoke, and the speaker is not insulated from the lawful reaction to the speech of private citizens and businesses.

In the U.S. right now, it has become popular for some NFL football players to kneel during the National Anthem supposedly to protest police brutality against black communities. It was started by football quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. His very direct purpose was to “disrespect” the country and its flag and anthem because of what he perceived as “injustice”. Others trying to avoid being seen as disrespecting the country, flag, anthem and military servicepeople since his words have tried to spin the protest as not involving disrespect for the country or the flag, but most people are not having that prevarication.

Kaepernick is absolutely entitled to protest. Especially as a spectator. But as a player, as an employee of an NFL football team, there is less flexibility in his choice of when and where to exercise his free speech. Since his protest, and since he decided to leave his team, he has not been rehired. Some say he is not a good enough quarterback to get hired, some say it is in retaliation for his controversial protest. But there were consequences for his exercising his extremely unpopular free speech. Employees represent the companies they work for, even if they earn tens of millions of dollars.

His protest has been taken up by other players. And a huge number of spectators of the NFL have consequently decided to turn off their TVs and not watch football if the players are going to kneel during the National Anthem. Under the Constitution, the players can exercise their free speech in the absence of a direction from their employer, but the spectators also have the right to decide not to watch. The NFL is losing its share of Sunday’s TV audience because so many people are not watching the games anymore. The teams are trying to get the players to protest outside of their games, so as not to project a stand on Kaepernick’s complaint. The teams of course just want to play football (and so do many other players), and virtually all of the audience just want to watch the games without the politics.

On Sunday the Vice-President of the U.S. attended a game, and several players from one team kneeled and others wore shirts that protested. The VP left the game in a protest of his own, saying he would not attend a game where the players disrespected the country, the flag, the anthem and the men and women who fought for freedom, the soldiers and others.

Many have said the players who kneel should be fired. This is a First Amendment legal issue. Companies presumably have power to determine whether their employees can engage in political speech while on duty (for obvious reasons) and even to discipline them if they do something against the team’s policies (a famous baseball player was fired for political speech aligned with President Trump). Now it is becoming a struggle for vast sums of money affecting the teams. A team which pays a player more than $10 million to play football, does not want that player doing anything that takes away hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Players who wish to protest can do so on their own time, the argument goes.

I don’t agree with Kaepernick’s complaint. A man who earned tens of millions of dollars playing American football complaining about a country where he could live such a wonderful like makes it seem he is ungrateful for the opportunities provided. Also, 70% of the football players are people of color, a huge disparity in demographics. I also don’t agree with his assessment of “injustice”. The U.S. is a country of laws, enforced by police in general. While there have been cases of people of color killed by police in the line of duty, there have been lots of cases of white people also killed in the line of duty. It is very hard to convict police officers of murder because most people respect the split second decisions officers must make when faced with aggression, possible weapons and situations requiring orders to perpetrators who may or may not follow the directions of the officer. In almost every case questioned by Kaepernick. the perpetrator refused to follow the officer’s directions, which usually are “Stop. Police. Raise your hands.” In almost every case of protest, a jury has found the police officer innocent, or the Grand Jury has voted not to indict the officers. Due process of law applies in both directions as well, for the individual, and for the officers, who are also entitled to it.

In any event, there are two sides to free speech. The speech, and the consequences. Both are likely within the First Amendment’s parameters. Many Americans just want to watch football, not protests. And the more protests there are, the more people there will be watching baseball or soccer or golf or the news or movies instead. The owner of one team has said that his players will not kneel during games to disrespect the flag or the country. Perhaps there will be some case about this. One ESPN commentator vociferously argued that the NFL audience should turn off the game to protest this team — I think she completely underestimated the sentiments of the people watching football. Those in favor of the protests form a tiny tiny fraction of NFL enthusiasts. She was suspended by ESPN for suggesting the boycott, ironically a violation of ESPN rules. Free speech does have its limitations for employees.

The protests have basically backfired. I don’t believe in this protest against the country or the flag. The complaints by Koepernick have nothing to do with the country or its flag or its national anthem.  If Mr. Koepernick detests the country so much, he is welcome to find another place in the universe where he could earn millions of dollars a year for throwing pigskin around or for which fame anyone would listen to him.

The discussion about the police and alleged brutality has been aired and has been subjected to legal action. During the Obama administration, the government almost always took the side of the individual against law enforcement (and always on the wrong legal side, eventually), creating a huge divisive undercurrent against police. The result of this has been an enormous spike in violent crime, especially in the former President’s own backyard in Chicago, where the crime rate is through the roof, probably because the police modified their procedures to avoid getting caught in the kind of situations with minorities that created the failure to obey and resulted in shootings. The minority neighborhoods have run amok, and gun killings are out of control. It is ironic.

Those protesting have to understand it goes both ways. Free speech is a tough lesson in democracy. While they may have permission from their teams to protest and say the things they believe in, the audience has the right to reject their speech and turn them off. And if the teams suffer financially, they may insist their players follow the rules. If the players do not follow the rules, they can be disciplined by the team and told to stand during the National Anthem or be benched. Free speech can have consequences. Nothing stops those same players from kneeling at every playing of the National Anthem on their own time.

It is time that people who protest on the left take off blinders and begin watching and listening to the other side of things. All I hear from their point of view is that it is the only point of view that is valid. Thinking like that leads nowhere pretty quickly, and is anathema to the Constitution’s notions of free speech. How ironic, and hypocritical.

The Chinese Communist Party Emperor’s New Clothes – Buck Naked and Waiting for the Truth from the World

Taiwan is completely independent, it is just mildly schizophrenic, because one very small side of it (the die-hards of the Chinese Nationalist Party (a/k/a KMT)) keeps mistaking itself for Communist China.

We are in fact stuck in the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, and in this tale, the entire world, fearful that the Chinese Communist Party will bar them from selling their goods at the Communist Party kasbah, is willing to tell the CCP that the “Emperor’s” new clothes are delightful, and anything else it wants to hear, including that they believe Taiwan is not independent and is a part of Communist China (nudge nudge, wink, wink). In fact, as we know, the Emperor is buck naked, and the Chinese Communist Party is simply delusional if it thinks Taiwan’s full-fledged democracy is going to go back to the stone age of tyranny (Japan for 50 years and the KMT for 50 years), except this time with Communist China’s communist dictatorship.

Oh. And no one believes Taiwan is actually part of Communist China. They just say that so they can sell their whatever to China, or buy China’s really cheap stuff, get Kommunist Kash from it, or avoid China squeezing off their oxygen because they made the mistake of telling the truth.

We are waiting for the day the rest of the world actually has the guts to tell the Emperor that he is naked, and Taiwan is a great independent democratic nation of 23 million fantastic people who are not communists. Only when the world has the courage of its convictions and stands up as one to tell this to the Emperor’s face will the world be free from Communist China’s blackmail, propaganda, prevarication, and bullying, and the people of China free from the Chinese Communist Party’s 70 years of suffocating tyranny.

Macron’s Visions of European Sovereign Sugarplums Dancing in Paris

An article appeared in the Taipei Times on Saturday, September 30, 2017, P. 9, “Macron’s vast ambitions for a united Europe” By Philippe Legrain  /  PARIS.

Mr. Legrain’s article is just another Project Syndicate pie in the sky piece about rainbows and lollipops. Basically the EU is made up of 28 sovereign nations who have been cobbled together into an economic zone, and pressed by France to sit under what it views as its enormous penumbra of substantive government so that France can be the King of Europe (once again, if ever it was)(“Coalitions of willing governments would then integrate faster, with a revitalized Franco-German engine driving the process forward”). But the EU can never be cobbled into a United States of Europe because to do so would be to release sovereignty and no country is going to give up sovereignty to France or Germany or both – yet at the end, that is Macron’s great “vision” for Europe – or is it for France?

Already the EU has tried to pass so many substantive laws about the internal affairs of nations in the EU (which has led to the exit of Great Britain, which would never cede sovereignty to a French leadership) including vast and often unwelcome immigration and rights and internal policies. Far from the economic and social organization, the EU, under French and German determination, has become a stringent competitive (or anti-competitive) entity which often is at odds with particular sovereign’s own internal policies (e.g. Ireland’s tax concessions to lure international businesses to its shores having become the subject of retroactive reversal and imposition of enormous taxes and penalties by the European commission concerned with protecting EU competition and not member states’ competition, and stealing as much as possible from foreign entities through penalties and taxes).

Of course the French PM sees a greater bigger tighter EU as one entity under France (oh, perhaps I should not have said that out loud). Not going to happen. Not unless Europe finds itself immigrated out of existence, which is more likely than each of the sovereign European members ceding sovereignty to a French and German dominated EU. Nothing has changed in 800 years, the French and Germans are eager to grab territorial influence one way or another. Macron’s view is merely “the good old days” repackaged with ribbons and rainbows.

Charlottsville – the illegitimate child of Barack Obama, “The Great Divider”

Note: I was born in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up in a melting pot and I was raised not to see any color or creed or religion or race in other people, and that is how I lived my whole life. I am a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, though I have not supported the Party in quite some time, probably not since Bill Clinton’s administration. I would say I am an independent. I want to make it clear that Nazis, White Supremacists, KKK, racists and others of such ilk have no place in our society. When I see Nazi symbols I feel sick. When I hear the N word I am horrified and repulsed, (even when it is used by a black person). I grew up in dire fear of the KKK, as I was as much a target of their hatred as anyone else. I supported Martin Luther King, loved him, followed him, was too young to travel to Mississippi, and knew some men who died there fighting for civil rights and freedom.

Trying to sum up the 8 year legacy of former President Barack Obama, I was drawn to some former Presidents who had an impact on American history. Abraham Lincoln is known mostly as “The Great Emancipator”, and Ronald Reagan is known mostly as “The Great Communicator”.

I thought about this, since many of his followers have likened Obama to Lincoln, and many of his detractors have distinguished him from Reagan.

I began to think of these comparisons, and what former President Obama left us as his legacy. More and more, every day, it becomes clear that Barack Obama was “The Great Divider”. No better evidence of this is what happened in Charlottsville in the past few days. Many in the media have placed the blame for the violence in Charlottsville at the feet of President Trump. However, the enormous gap between the “far right” and the “far left” began long before Donald Trump even showed up on the political scene, it began back in the early days of Obama’s presidential campaign before he was elected.

While former President Obama talked often of uniting America, he did nothing of the sort. In fact, Barack Obama led liberals, progressives, socialists and communists, those who disliked the right, disliked conservatives, disliked religion, disliked Christians, disliked white people, disliked America, disliked Israel, disliked Jews who supported Israel, disliked drug control, disliked law enforcement, and many of the like out into the wilderness, for eight years. And when he returned from the wildnerness, with his tens of millions of followers, they had become rabid haters of all they had disliked, having been emboldened by how far to the left the President had driven the Democratic Party, my party, so far left, so extreme in their views, so intolerant, so politically correct, so sensitive, so violent, so vocal, and so hell bent on forcing their views on everyone, everywhere, that when the American conscience sat around the table that has been America’s melting pot of ideas, Obama’s followers and fascists, nazis, white supremacists and KKK members, who were many of the people who showed up in Charlottsville, were actually sitting right next to each other, because in fact the far, extreme, disgusting right, and the far, extreme disgusting left could no longer be distinguished, both imbued with hatred, both hopelessly irreconciliable, both so far to the left and right that their hatred was mutually bright and blinding, their methods equally offensive and loud, their hearts filled with murder and destruction and intolerance and both absolutely convinced they and only they are right about everything and that no one can disagree.

President Obama united nothing. He flung the world into chaos by refusing to act, whether out of a belief the US has no business in international affairs, emasculating the United States so as to convince the world the US was not a shining light, not the answer to any question or to any problem, or promising one thing and doing another (such as abandoning the Syrian rebels mid-stream), inventing the foreign policy doctrine of “Oppeasement”, and bowing to the likes of Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping, and Putin, not to mention Iran, North Korea and the Palestinians, managing to put Russia back at the top of the list and emboldening every evil in the world with his weakness, hesitation, indecisiveness and passivism.

Obama, the first black President, did not do one single thing to raise up black people in the United States, but merely encouraged them to rise up without leading them in any particular direction to give them the voice and wherewithal to achieve the equality they deserve and are absolutely entitled to in American life. He did not lead them to schools, but fashioned excuses for low performance, he did not pound on the importance of families in getting a good education, he did not exhort blacks to obey the law, but rather justified their fear of the law, setting minority against authority by injecting himself into legal matters the President had no business commenting on during investigation. He turned out to be wrong in every single case. He made the advice “when you see the man, run” the standing order of the day for minorities in America and tacitly approved of it, instead of encouraging faith in the legal system, and explaining that no one single significant shooting of a person of color in the years of his presidency would have occurred if the victim had only been encouraged by the President of the United States, the first black president, to obey a lawful order of the police, and not “run, when you see the man”, or resist arrest or carry a weapon, or take it out. I don’t recall a single time in eight years that President Obama supported law enforcement in the United States regarding the black community. In fact, the Great Divider drove a wedge between blacks and police, between blacks and whites, between rich and poor, between educated and uneducated, between lawful legal aliens and immigrants and illegal aliens (Obama using the euphemism “undocumented” to avoid “illegal alien”, the perfectly correct concept under the law (under the law of every country on Earth) applying to immigrants without the legal right to stay in the country).

Even in his own party, the Democratic Party, Obama was the great divider. If you did not support his extreme “progressive” and “liberal” ideas, you were not with the program. I often thought, wait, this is the Democratic Party, not the Liberal Party or Progressive Party, or Socialist Party or Communist Party. In his push to impose his extreme leftist views on his followers, he ended up making it necessary for white people to hate themselves in order to get into his Party. He even drove wedges between white people, and successfully made “old white men” a derogatory term, like the “N” word, which if I spoke, my parents would have washed my mouth out with soap (and I never did or could say it or any other derogatory term because I didn’t believe in that kind of racism against people I had always embraced and respected every diverse person in my life, which in New York was many).

Former President Obama divided American allies from America, almost all of them, his foreign policy based on “resetting” relationships, which all failed (every single one), and no more embarrassing than Russia, which Obama had proudly and arrogantly instructed his challenger Romney on when Romney said Russia was our primary enemy, saying the Cold War had ended decades before. Obama’s passivity elevated Russia to new heights, allowing Putin to assume the mantle of Russian dictator, and allowed Russia to once again stick its ugly head into foreign affairs in order to thwart every single American initiative. Putin also buddied up with Xi Jinping when convenient to form a block of totalitarian opposition to American support for freedom and democracy, those things being anathema to both Russia and Communist China. Former President Obama divided Jews and Palestinians (and Jews who swore by “never again” and Jews in Israel and the United States who followed his extremism so much so they hated themselves and pursued policies which could only lead to the eventual destruction of Israel). President Obama divided Christians and Muslims, by exhorting Islam and characterizing Christianity as the problem, creating deep conflicts in the US, and giving rise to a huge swath of discontented Americans who could no longer support his party, and went looking for something, anything else than his dogmatic American self-hatred, and many of whom ended up in Donald Trump’s lap (as much the fault of the weak, divided and hopelessly unfocused Republican Party, which could not even agree on debating rules, let alone policies for the American people or fielding a small group of leaders who could stand for election and actually get elected – debates turned into boxing matches which turned off most of the electorate).

Former President Obama made it a crime to be successful, to be comfortable, to have worked hard and earned a good living, he actually made it a crime to earn more than someone else – and the name for this is “socialism”. He made “taxing the rich” a mantra, and Obamacare was not as much about bringing 40 million Americans into the health care system as it was about decimating the health care apparatus for the other 300 million Americans. Obama’s own medical care for his family and him was not affected. The quality of health care dropped like a stone, waiting times tripled or were even ten times as long, insurance companies raised premiums because the system was untenable as proposed by the Great Divider. The end result was basically to sabotage the health care system, scrap it, and start from scratch, leaving hundreds of millions of Americans affected and fuming. The Great Divider achieved his aim of making sure success did not mean success – in his system, utterly opposite of the American system of working hard to get ahead, everyone was entitled to the same, even if the government had to pay to achieve that – socialism. To achieve this, Obama decimated the military to save billions for his socialist programs, trying to turn the US into Europe’s Mini-me.

The hatred demonstrated at the march in Charlottsville has been around for centuries. Nazis have been parading for more than 70 years. Is it disgusting? Yes. Is it allowed under the Constitution? Absolutely. And here is the problem. Former President Obama actually divided the nation in what it could and could not say, by imposing Political Correctness on every single utterance, except those things said by his followers.

Nazis can march. They have always had the right to march. Our Constitution protects all speech. But the last five years have seen a tendency to characterize any ideas that infringe on the ideas of the left as illegal speech. This is not true. Nazis can march. We can stand on the other side of the street with signs and shout slogans against their disgusting racist un-American principles. We cannot assault them, we cannot throw stones at them, we cannot shoot them. We can say they have no place here, but they are entitled to their disgusting thoughts under our Consitution. And the minute that stops. the minute that segments of speech become prohibited, that is the moment we descend into autocracy, and that is the bus that President Obama was driving for 8 years.

The Great Divider – he left office with the world and our beautiful country in chaos. He was a great speaker, a great motivator, but his policies and principles were a million miles further to the left than Trump’s are to the right. President Obama elected President Trump just as surely as if he voted for him. Obama created an enormous silent majority of people who believe like I set forth here, not like a dyed-in-the-wool leftist, like a socialist, or communist, all of whom believe, based on Obama’s teachings, that their droppings smell like roses. Unfortunately, President Trump and his White House Circus have not figured out yet how to run the country, and so long as the President has a twitter account it will be so. He does not realize that every single word he utters has a consequence, and that he needs advisers to advise him before he speaks, not after. The concept of “damage control” has become the primary function of day to day White House life.

It will take some time, maybe another 8-20 years to fix the mess that The Great Divider left for us, both here in America and abroad. There are many fires to put out, and many concepts to re-purpose. But I think the fires that The Great Divider started cannot be extinguished so easily, and they are not the fires of progress but the fires of destruction. Of course Barry would rather burn down the house than let it survive. That is the definition of extremism. And we are on fire now, and it is not a good fire, it is a totalitarian fire burning on the left…look at Venezuela, if you dare.

Gay Rights in Modern Society and the Democratic Debate: A Reply to Marco Chu’s Article “No space for ‘pluralism’ on equality committee”

Marco Chu wrote an article in the Taipei Times on Wednesday, July 25, 2017 P. 8 entitled “No space for ‘pluralism’ on equality committee”  http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2017/07/26/2003675304/1

Here is some tough love, Marco.

Sorry Marco, while I completely agree with you that it is right that LGBTQ people are entitled to the same protections in law as a consequence of their inherent gender identity, and I agree that gay people are entitled to be free of discrimination and are entitled to live openly as they choose according to their gender identity, I completely disagree with how you arrive at that conclusion and your typically “progressive” selectivity of ideas and controversies as “enlightened”, and for lack of another term the opposition to those ideas as “evil”.

You have not said anything in your Taipei Times article that has not been hashed out for the past umpteen years in the United States, which, unlike Taiwan, is 80% or more Christian, and where religion is as much a part of daily life as is freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and all of the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution, which, by the way, have been heavily litigated for two hundred years.

You go off on a tangent that cannot be accepted, the notion that progressive ideas are somehow entitled to uber-protection and “golden” treatment because….because….well, because they are progressive! That is nonsense.

First, were a poll taken with secret ballots, you would find an overwhelming opposition in Taiwan to some of the LGBTQ issues you have mentioned, including “marriage”. However, since the Constitution is the Constitution and since it has been ruled by Taiwan’s highest legal authority that it allows gay marriage, but that the Government should determine how and when to implement that, debate is now forthcoming. Taiwan is a very traditional culture, with a very progressive epicenter, but those traditions are very strong among a majority of the population. Come back in another generation and the poll would likely change. Such is democracy, and such is human nature, where people are more careful and conservative in middle aged and older generations. Your notion that anyone in opposition to LGBTQ issues should be excluded from the discussion – well, there is a word for that – it is called “tyranny”. You are suggesting that only the LGBTQ voices can be considered in this debate (which takes away the very notion of a debate), and that anyone who opposes does not deserve to be heard.

In the US, the opposition usually takes the form of religious dogma. In Taiwan, it is likely the opposition is deeply rooted in ancient traditions and culture, just as Taiwan independence is naturally accepted among younger generations and harder to accept among the older blue-trained generations saturated with KMT dogma.

Progressive ideas do not necessarily smell better because they are progressive. This is a slippery slope. Some of the statements made in the article are somewhat dangerous.

1. The parallels offered (White Terror and human rights committee) are patently ridiculous and the parties taking part in the debate about LGBTQ are nothing like those named (“military personnel and police who tortured”) and comparing several million amah, who are likely not in favor of gay marriage to secret police is somewhat preposterous, don’t you think? (“Amah (Grandma), it is normal today, it is okay for a girl to dress like a boy, or for that boy next door to wear a dress, and for girls to marry girls and for men to marry men.” “No! Marriage has always been for a man and a woman, no one else, period. You need to see a doctor. Didn’t your parents teach you anything?” Tell me this conversation has not been had at least twenty million times in Taiwan).

2. “If the DPP government accepts religious extremists who have been discriminating against those who are not heterosexually inclined, even taking the lead in oppressing, attacking, ostracizing and cursing gay people, on the committee — imagining that this is diversity — it would not just be wrong” Basically, it is the progressive play book to say that anyone who opposes a liberal or progressive idea is an “extremist”. But this is patently false. There is a huge, huge portion of the population who are in the middle, not deep left and not deep right. Those people are ordinary everyday people who believe in their traditions, go to work, go to school, bai bai when necessary, and live their lives without “oppressing, attacking or ostracizing” anyone. They just disagree with you. Saying these people have no voice in the debate, is tyranny. Of course they should have a voice. They are a majority of the people the government represents.

Ahhh….this is the point. The progressive idea is so golden, it must be shoved down the throats of the populace because it is an enlightened position with which no one can disagree without being crazy or evil. Sorry, Marco. That just doesn’t work. And the people on the committee don’t have to be the extremists you mention, not on either side, LGBTQ or its opposition. You see, you want the extreme pro-LGBTQ voice to be represented, but not any other. Do you see the hypocrisy there? Do you understand that when far far far left ideas become like this, they become far far far right? Like Nicolas Maduro, in Venezuela, who is so far to the left, that he has crossed over into the far right, as a dictator, a socialist dictator.

3.”If a church or religion does not accept gay marriage, it can refuse to conduct same-sex weddings. That is religious freedom and cultural diversity, so while it might not be right, it cannot be criticized.” And yet, in the US, the movement has been to force religious groups, under Obama’s administration, to accept these ideas as givens, without any right to refuse to accept. In the US right now, a baker cannot refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding. There are huge numbers of people who oppose that. (Personally I think it is ridiculous, a cake is a cake and you are in business, so bake the damn cake already, but it is an explosive issue.)

What I mean is that it is a slippery slope and once you accept one position, you will end up accepting all of it, eventually. Progressives will call this “progress”. Conservatives will call this “revolution”.  Aren’t both voices entitled to be heard in the debate? Is that not what “free speech” is all about?

4. “The state should stand up for minorities and protect them from prosecution [sic] rather than dance to the oppressors’ tune while calling it ‘pluralism.'” Again, characterizing the opposition as “oppressors” certainly is a strong indication of the writer’s refusal to accept any other dissenting voice, and adopting the progressive play book in labeling opposition as “evil” as opposed to simply a contrary position. The progressive’s BM always smells like roses to the progressive.

Finally, I understand disappointment with the DPP for it not pushing through the changes that the LBGTQ community hoped would be made. Some changes have begun. To suggest the government has a duty to ignore the populace of the country and to cater to only some of its supporters also smacks of tyranny. Again, that is the tyranny of the left, that is the march towards dictatorship. If you listen to the verbiage of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and Hugo Chavez before him, you would hear the same progressive mumbo jumbo and the translation of the mumbo jumbo equals “I am your dictator, viva la revolution”. To stand up and argue that only your voice counts in a democracy is wrong.

Yes, pluralism has its dangers. The UN is an excellent example. In the UN a majority of countries often vote against history, fact and logic, because they have the votes for it. So they can vote that there is only one China and that includes Taiwan, even though Taiwan has been de facto independent for 70 years and Communist China has no dominion over Taiwan whatsoever, or that Jerusalem has no connection whatsoever to the Jews and wipe out 3,000 years of Jewish history, simply because there is a plurality. So too, in Iran and some eastern European countries, and in Russia, the leadership has actually said “We have no gays here” reflecting a plurality. That is either because they are hiding or were killed. Pluralism has its dangers too.

Stability requires deliberate action, and deliberate action requires deliberation, which by its very nature requires consideration of all sides in an issue or debate. By arguing the opposition has no voice, a beautiful thing called democracy becomes dictatorship.

There is nothing wrong with, as the DPP has said, promoting reconciliation. There is nothing wrong with considering opposing voices. “Considering” them and “obeying” them are completely different. Rejecting opposition is included within “considering” opposition. The writer’s fear of those opposing voices does not place sufficient faith in the process under the system of government Taiwanese have chosen. The alternative is the Communist Chinese way, where the supreme leader makes the decision, no debate, next case.

The LGBTQ revolution has already taken hold around the world. If you turn on the TV in the U.S., every other TV show involves LGBTQ issues, characters are in every movie, every TV show, on the news, in public life everywhere. While many in the US oppose this, there is not very much that can be done to stop it. It has taken hold in Taiwan too, in many ways. The culture is still a conservative culture. Only time will tell the extent to which the concepts are acceptable. As younger people step into positions of power, the nature of how these issues are decided will likely change. Many times sea change takes time. It requires patience (not less pressure, but patience).

There are still “communist sympathizers” who believe China is their Eden…it is hard to believe, I know

I was reading posts regarding Communist China, and came across a post entitled “Is the People’s Republic of China a Force for Good?” https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/9954326/posts/12507, a post addressing an article discussing the People’s Republic of China’s influence in Australia.

The post is basically more than an apology for the People’s Republic of China, but actually a celebration of its communist roots and a system of government far “superior” to Western “bourgeois democracies”.  As soon as people start using “bourgeois”, I start getting nervous. I wrote a comment on the post, and you can read the original post yourself to see the depths to which an apologist for totalitarianism will go to justify it (even as against those evil human rights proponents such as Liu Xiaobo calling for democracy, because they are committing “treason”). As soon as people start saying it is treasonous to call for human rights, due process and democracy, you have reached that Twilight Zone called Communist China.

Here is my comment on the post in full. I am not sure it will be published there:

“I suppose it is ironic this was posted on June 4th, the day on which the rest of the world remembers Tienanmen Square’s massacre, another dark day in the totalitarian history of murder and oppression in The People’s Republic of China, which is basically the most horrendous “communist” dictatorship, in this case run by the Chinese Communist Party. The only tie remotely between communism and the People’s Republic of China is that it is both a totalitarian nightmare, like every communist regime in history, and the state owns and controls everything, including speech, thought and actions. To pretend, like some book group discussing the writings of Marx, that the PRC is some benign and beneficial nation of peace and harmony requires checking one’s brain and entire nervous center before waking. China is not “cooperating” with the West, it is co-opting the West with its basic capital, which is blackmail, propaganda and prevarication, undertaken under the guise of trade and economic development, using such projects as the One Belt One Road (One Noose One Way), which is a web of influence which will allow China to affect the thinking and policies of all the nations involved and affected. China has corrupted the United Nations into becoming a Communist China mouthpiece and automaton. If people with the principles discussed here reject Liu Xiaobo in favor of Xi Jinping, I really don’t know what to say, except trying having a discussion about Liu in a coffee shop in Beijing and see how long before you end up in jail. And that is free speech with Chinese characteristics. By the way, this website is not available in the PRC, and “Communist Heaven” is actually a room without light in a special corner of Hell.”

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – Taiwan’s Democracy, the U.S. Pledge, and the Chinese Communist Party’s Constant Nightmare – “Freedom”

Regarding the editorial in the Sunday Taipei Times (“The Liberty Times Editorial: Opportunities and independence”, Jul 16, 2017 – Page 6), and speaking of the U.S. position on Taiwan’s independence, the paper notes “Therefore, arms sales to Taiwan, but failure to support its independence is a curious mix-and-match of action and rhetoric.”

Actually, if one thinks about it, this is not so curious. Failing to support independence out loud is not opposing it, even if those words come out of some official’s mouth at some point, because at its root, opposition to independence is not the policy of the U.S., it is merely a tool aimed at defusing a flash point with an arch enemy with nuclear weapons.

However….there is a time to every purpose, and war between the U.S. and China is the potential result of a declaration of independence by Taiwan unless it is the right time, so it is a matter of great importance that the time be right.

What does that mean? It is not so easy to define the right time, or pinpoint. It does depend on the steady progress of Taiwan towards being de facto recognized around the world out loud as a democratic nation on its own, and it could also depend on the resolve of the people of Taiwan. Few believe Taiwanese are willing to take up arms and fight Chinese soldiers in the streets of Taiwan. They say, this is 2017, who does such things, or would want to?

In history, including recent history, there have been very few declarations of independence not accompanied by bloodshed – no country’s overseer will so easily give up its captive.

The U.S. fought a long and very bloody Revolutionary War 241 years ago propelling the U.S. into history and George Washington into the Presidency. In the course of the 8 years of war against England, over 30,000 civilians lost their lives, and there were over 200,000 military casualties. The result was “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The bloodshed and resulting democracy has served as a beacon of freedom for billions in the centuries following. Are Taiwanese willing to shed their blood for this?

I think in civil society today, we do everything we can to avoid such conflict, though evil revels in blood and gore, as Tiananmen Square, the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap and so many other horrific events in Communist China have shown. It also revels in intimidation.

The result? The “One-China policy” that acknowledges that this is what Communist China says, and that the U.S. has its own idea about that. And the purpose of the ambiguity is to allow the U.S. to stand behind Taiwan, firmly, and between Taiwan and Communist China, firmly, and protect Taiwan with the full power and beauty of the U.S. Constitution and the principles of freedom and democracy now inherent in Taiwan’s system of government, and wait for the right time to help bring Taiwan into the family of recognized democratic nations, which it truly already de facto is.

All of the machinations dealing with Taiwan’s de facto independence are designed to avoid a war between two nuclear powers, especially with a North Korean powder-keg sitting just a few clicks away. We have seen how Communist China deals with resistance historically, by its brutality in Tibet and Hong Kong. The U.S. did not stand behind Tibet and wag its finger, having just completed the Korean War a few years earlier. Genocide through eugenics has ensued in Tibet. The U.K. does not have the muscle to stand behind Hong Kong even though Communist China recently stated that the 50-year agreement between the UK and Communist China no longer applies – in other words, England has no power to enforce it, so too bad, Hong Kong’s One Country-Two Systems system is now One Country-One System.

But the U.S., recognizing the tremendously important role that Taiwan plays in ensuring Asia’s democratic existence, and the beauty and grace in having its democracy flourish, and having the same freedoms as exist in the U.S. in Taiwan for its 23 million people, does stand behind Taiwan and wag its finger at Beijing and say “don’t even think of it, buddy”. It has not yet become “Make my day, punk,” but it is implicit in the military presence in China’s neighborhood, and projection of the U.S. military might around the world.

Despite the bellicosity of PLA (People’s Liberation Army) generals, China’s military is no match for the battle-hardened U.S. military might, and for all those nay-sayers in the U.S. who complain about its defense budget, it is like the defense budget for the entire free world (because as we know well, Europe is not going to mount a military that can fulfill that role) and that gives the U.S. power to keep democracy vital and dominant, protecting the freedoms of the people of the U.S., and its friends, despite the efforts of the world’s worst totalitarian regimes, from Communist China to Russia, to Iran to North Korea to Venezuela to Cuba to  those in the Middle East.

Were the U.S. to back off Taiwan, I don’t want to think of the consequences. Our law provides support for Taiwan, laws which always pass with overwhelming support in Congress. Presidents follow diplomatic niceties, but the U.S. Congress does not have to follow suit. Few in the U.S. speak glowingly of a unified Communist China and Taiwan. An overwhelming majority acknowledge that Taiwan is already a democratic nation whose own Constitution provides in Article One it is a nation with a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

That is the basic foundation of Taiwan today. And it is the basic foundation of Charter 08, offered in 2008 by Liu Xiaobo and his co-writers as the foundation for a future China. Imagine that. Taiwan is the example of what the people of Communist China can look forward to. No wonder the Chinese Communist Party is so damn afraid of tiny Taiwan. And no wonder the Chinese Communist Party is so damn afraid of India, a great U.S. ally and a democratic nation of more than one billion people – demonstrating that the Chinese Communist Party’s argument that China is too big for democracy is nonsense.

To answer the question inherent in the editorial, the democracy and independence dance is not only a dance between Communist China and Taiwan, truly of necessity for Taiwan’s benefit and survival. If it were, it would be a very short and painful dance. It is a very complicated dance and the dance floor is quite crowded, and Communist China is by far not the dancer with the biggest footprint and most destructive kick, and while the U.S. is dancing far from home, Communist China knows that doesn’t mean a thing after over 100 years of projecting power for good across the oceans and seas to stand behind freedom against oppression whenever and wherever it is found.

Also, while the dance is going, and it is going, Taiwan is evolving, and as the pro-Communist China KMT is in steep decline, Taiwan is edging closer and closer to fully realizing the power of those words above…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Assimilate that, Chairman Xi and your Chinese Communist Party, anachronisms of despair from the 20th Century, and hollow wraiths in the shadow of Taiwan’s massively free and beautiful society.