Friday, March 30, 2007

Who can save Hsieh Wen-ting?

Who can save Hsieh Wen-ting?
United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 30, 2007

High Court Chief Prosecutor Hsieh Wen-ting, purged for refusing to cover up rampant Chen Shui-bian regime corruption

Comment: In "The Myth of Checks and Balances" I wrote:

In theory, a democratically elected president is merely the highest ranking official in one of three or more coequal branches of government, the executive branch.

In reality, in any monopolistic state with a presidential system, the president is an elective dictator, the legislature is a debating society, and the judiciary is a rubber stamp. Real world experience has demonstrated that over time, the executive invariably co-opts the judiciary and marginalizes the legislature.

In theory, the coequal branches of government provide "checks and balances" upon each other, preventing them from ganging up upon the individual citizens they have sworn to protect and serve.

In reality, because the executive is the branch that has been delegated the power to "execute" policy (pun intended), it invariably usurps any and all powers delegated to the other branches of a monopolistic state. Real world experience has shown that "limited government" inevitably morphs into unlimited government, and that the executive is always the branch that winds up monopolizing that limitless power. It makes no difference whether the executive was popularly elected, self-appointed, or hereditary.

When this happens, "champions of democracy" assure us that what is needed is "reform."

I disagree.

Democracies do not need to be reformed. They need to be replaced. Democracies and other monopolistic states degenerate into dictatorships because they are structurally defective therefore impervious to reform from their very inception.

Democracies and other monopolistic states must be replaced with non-monopolistic political arrangements that refrain from granting any single political entity an exclusive franchise on the use of force within any given jurisdiction.

Unless by some miracle the Chinese people on Taiwan forsake "democracy" and adopt market anarchism, the answer to the question "Who can save Hsieh Wen-ting" will remain: "Nobody."

Who can save Hsieh Wen-ting?

United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 30, 2007

The Ministry of Justice, confronted with a boycott by all nine elected members of the Personnel Review Committee, has rammed through the reassignment of 26 chief prosecutors, the most controversial of which is the Hsieh Wen-ting case.

The elected members of the Personnel Review Committee issued a powerful statement to the effect that "Public prosecutors categorically must not retreat before such flagrant manipulation of the justice system by political forces. Otherwise the authority of the Public Prosecutor's Office will become subordinate to the authority of the Executive branch, and public prosecutors will become political goons. The justice system categorically must not bow to political power." The outrage they felt was clear from their language.

What we are witnessing is a war of annihilation and extermination, waged by malevolent political forces against the spirit of an independent judiciary. If Hsieh Wen-ting is forced out of office in this manner by a malevolent political authority, what will become of our legal system? How will administrators of justice enforce the law?

Over the past year, the fate of Chief Prosecutor Hsieh Wen-ting opf the High Court Prosecutor's Office has hinged on the outcome of a savage struggle between politics and law enforcement. Last April, the legislature vetoed Hsieh Wen-ting's appointment as Prosecutor General. The reason was the opposition parties lacked confidence in Hsieh Wen-ting's managerial style. One year later, it turns out that because Hsieh Wen-ting resisted pressure to sweep Chen Shui-bian's State Affairs Confidential Expense scandal under the rug, he was summarily replaced.

According to reports, during the State Affairs Confidential Expense scandal, political figures at the highest levels attempted through a variety of channels to discover from Hsieh Wen-ting's own statements, the direction and progress of his investigation, but received no response. Word also spread that following the indictment in this case, political figures at the highest levels hoped that Hsieh Wen-ting would order public prosecutors to withdraw the charges, but Hsieh Wen-ting "resisted the will of those above him." Case prosecutor Eric Chen confirmed that Hsieh Wen-ting said that "The pressure stops here." Hsieh wanted them to be free from political considerations and to handle matters according to the letter and spirit of the law.

After all is said and done, one must admit that Hsieh Wen-ting has upheld his role as an administrator of justice. Meanwhile, looking back at the tumultuous changes over the past year, Chen Tsung-ming's ascent to the throne of Prosecutor General due to People First Party collusion, represents shameful self-abasement. Scandals erupted again and again, and the Ministry of Justice covered them up again and again. Hsieh Wen-ting on the other hand, just missed becoming Prosecutor General because he "resisted the will of those above him." His appointment to Prosecutor General was unexpectedly rejected. Is this not a political and judicial farce that leaves one unsure whether to laugh or to cry?

Hsieh Wen-ting's replacement, at such a time and under such circumstances, cannot help but arouse suspicions. No wonder an atmosphere of indignation permeates prosecutorial circles. If the rumor that Hsieh Wen-ting was replaced because he "resisted the will of those above him" is true, then this is nothing less than the undisguised purging of political dissent from judicial circles.
Those in power have openly declared war upon the judicial world. "Obey me and live, Defy me and die!" "Refuse to cover up my corruption, and I will have your job!" Is this not a war of annihilation and extermination against justice?

Yesterday before the Examining Committee, elected committee members suggested that as long as the facts of the case remained in doubt, meetings should be suspended. But the Ministry of Justice ignored Examining Committee rules requiring a 2/3 quorum and held an illegal meeting which all nine elected committee members refused to attend.

In a single breath, the Ministry of Justice transferred 26 chief prosecutors, inspiring Committee Member Chen Chih-ming to question the urgent need to transfer personnel who were just now learning their jobs. On the Prosecutorial Reform Committee's offical website, Chen Chih-ming pointed out that Minister of Justice Shih Mao-ling's "abnormal behavior" might have been motivated by either selfish concerns or year end election concerns, in order to manipulate the vote-buying investigation process. Chen Chih-ming said that the situation was worse than imagined. If that is indeed the case, it amounts to a political purge of individuals of integrity within the justice system.

Chen Chih-ming considered this highly unethical. He pointed out that the motive for making such major reassignments was entirely selfish. If such selfish behavior set a negative precedent, it would undermine chief prosecutors who respected the law.

This is a ruling regime utterly devoid of moral virtue, which now hopes by means of its hold on political power to purge prosecutorial circles of any last vestiges of integrity, in order to advance its private interests. Can the nation and the justice system do nothing but look on as a ruling regime devoid of moral virtue practices a policy of "Obey me and live, defy me and die," and creates a justice system utterly devoid of moral virtue?

Perhaps due to strong protests from elected committee members, yesterday's roster contained hints of compromise. But Chen Tsung-ming sits securely on his throne. Hsieh Wen-ting meanwhile, leaves office on a bittersweet note. This reflects perfectly the current state of the justice system. The laws of god, the laws of man, public sentiment. Who can demand that Chen Tsung-ming step down? And who can save Hsieh Wen-ting?

Original Chinese below:














Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Is the DPP performing Cosmetic Surgery or Butchery?

Is the DPP performing Cosmetic Surgery or Butchery?
United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 28, 2007

Julian McMahon as Dr. Christian Troy and Dylan Walsh as Dr. Sean McNamara -- cosmetic surgeons to the stars in the outstanding TV series "Nip/Tuck" (2003 - ????, created by Ryan Murphy)

The Carver, a masked serial killer who disfigures and rapes his victims -- one of the primary villains in the outstanding TV series "Nip/Tuck" (2003 - ????, created by Ryan Murphy)

Mason Verger, after Dr. Hannibal Lecter was finished with him in "Hannibal" (2001, directed by Ridley Scott, written by Thomas Harris, David Mamet, and Steve Zaillian)

In the coming year, the Republic of China government on Taiwan will hold both a legislative election and a presidential election. These elections will not be civilized expressions of the democratic process. They will be unconstrained, bloody warfare, particularly the presidential election. With the polls only a year off, the stench of blood is already forcing people to hold their noses.

The culprit responsible for this murderous atmosphere is not individual Blue or Green camp political candidates, but the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime. Wave upon wave of ruling regime and ruling party campaigns for the "Rectification of Names" have left people in stunned disbelief. The central government and local governments have been toppling bronze statues of Chiang Kai-shek, demolishing walls surrounding public parks, conducting witch hunts against fellow Green camp candidates suspected of harboring "Blue" sympathies. The DPP has ganged up on the so-called "Eleven Bandits" within their own party. The DPP has accused the New Tide Faction of being "pro reunification." The DPP has even demanded that the March 29 celebration of Youth Day be abolished in favor of a "nativist" Youth Day, that David Lee be replaced as defacto ambassador to Washington, and that the term "National Language" be abolished. This succession of crude moves has left Taiwan unrecognizable.

Actually, most people on Taiwan saw through the phony "Rectification of Names" campaign long ago. They know that although the pretext for the campaign is the pursuit of justice and the healing of historic wounds, the underlying motive is the incitement of social polarization to gloss over the incompetence of the ruling regime. The result is historical wounds are not permitted to heal, and Taiwan is continually subjected to newly inflicted traumas.

Ruling DPP campaigns are not entirely "negative." One might describe them as "positively destructive." These destructive campaigns have wiped out hard-won advances in the Republic of China's political evolution. This is no accident. Besides revealing that the DPP has painted itself into a corner, they reveal that the DPP has betrayed its own democratic ideals. Realizing that it has reached the end of its rope, the DPP has resorted to doomsday tactics. When a ruling party treats electoral politics as a form of "Mutually Assured Destruction," yet prattles on about demanding justice and promoting a "normal country," clearly the people count for nothing.

That a ruling party could dream up an "Exclude Blue" policy and even an "Aggressive Exclude Blue" policy, shows that the people don't matter, that the DPP considers the greater half of the nation's citizens to be its hated enemy. Yu Hsi-kuen characterized opinion polls as a means by which the Blue camp uses the Green camp as a surrogate for bringing Blue offspring into the world. He even compared the struggle between Blue and Green to the campaign of ethnic cleansing waged by Serbia against Bosnia. Now how fearsome was that racially-motivated war of hatred?

What will happen if the DPP insists on seeing half of its own citizens as hated enemies, if it refuses to promote social reconciliation and national unity? Taiwan will remain a divided society, and Blue voters will become a permanent underclass, denied respect and denied a voice.

The DPP has long divided people into two categories. Now, even more perversely, it is dividing members of its own party into "us" and "them." It is conducting witch hunts within its own party, accusing rivals of being "reds." Comrades who demanded reform while Chen Shui-bian was mired in corruption have been denounced as traitors. This is an indication that the DPP has lost its collective mind.

The New Tide Faction once tutored others in Taiwan independence theory. Recently it urged the adoption of pragmatic cross-Straits relations. As a result it has been denounced by Deep Green extremists as "pro unification" and "pro China." The power struggle within the DPP resembles a feeding frenzy. The "Rectification of Names" campaign has provided DPP leaders with the perfect pretext for dog eat dog political struggles.

DPP cutthroat tactics were once directed outwards, against KMT machine politicians and party faithful. Today they are directed against members of their own party, against anyone who dares to speak with a different voice. Continued cutthroat tactics will result in a Deep Green state of siege in which dissent is forbidden. What will remain except the cries of former comrades as they hurl accusations against one another and settle personal scores?

Toppling bronze statues and abolishing the national language are nothing more than smoke screens, irrelevant to the "Rectification of Names" campaign. What the ruling regime really seeks to exploit is the hatred and resentment generated by its campaign of destruction. That alone can mask DPP incompetence and win public approval. If the DPP really wants to "rectify names," more democratic means are available. Instead it ignores public opinion, adopts the crudest methods available, and commits the most flagrant abuses of power imaginable.

Under such circumstances, Blue and Green oriented citizens will become increasingly alienated from each other, social consensus will become increasingly difficult to achieve, and a democratic future will become increasingly problematic.

How can a ruling party that incites ethnic hatred possibly bring about a harmonious society? The current wave of destruction cannot give Taiwan a new face or a new identity. All it can do is destroy the people's feelings of self-esteem and their sense of identity.

The cutthroat campaigns of 2004 neutered the Blue camp. The cutthroat campaign of 2008 will put Taiwan on the DPP chopping block, turning the people into fish waiting to be filleted. The "Rectification of Names" campaign is butchery in the guise of cosmetic surgery. All it can do is transform the face of Taiwan into the face of a monster.

Original Chinese below:



掀 起這股漫天殺氣的禍首,不是個別的藍綠候選人,而是大權在握的執政者。最近一波波黨政聯手假「正名」為題炒作的事件,令人目不暇給:中央與地方齊進的拆銅 像、拆圍牆;提名民調從「排藍」到深度排藍;民進黨內圍剿「十一寇」,連新潮流都被指為「統派」;乃至於要廢三二九重新票選本土青年節,駐美代表李大維被 撤換,到「國語」一詞將廢除。這一連串粗暴的拆、排、切、廢,每一刀都為台灣刻下傷痕。


且 看,「拆、排、切、廢」,不僅全都是「否定式」的思維,也全都是「破」和「毀」的手段。這「四毀」,在台灣民主進程中的此際突然鋪天蓋地湧現,絕非偶然。 除了顯示民進黨已陷入前進無路的政治死巷,也說明它已耗盡自身的民主理想;自暴自棄下,才如此不惜用「毀人」與「自毀」的絕地戰策,來鋌而走險,只圖僥倖 一逞。當一個執政黨把選戰打到這種「共趨淪亡」的地步,還能奢談什麼轉型正義或正常國家,它眼裡根本就沒有人民了。

作為執政黨,竟想得出 「排藍」、「深度排藍」這樣的機關,它眼中何止沒有人民,簡直是將大半國民當成仇敵。當游錫?將普通民調形容為藍軍對綠營的「借腹生子」,亦形同將藍綠之 爭擬喻為當年塞爾維亞對波士尼亞的「種族清洗」,那是多可怕的種族仇恨意識?試想,民進黨若始終把半數百姓視同仇敵,從不設法增進社會的和解、國家的團 結,台灣不僅將注定是個分裂的社會,藍色選民也儼然將成為民進黨治下的「賤民」階級,永遠得不到尊重,意見也不會被聽取。

民進黨不僅把人 民分成兩類,更變態的是,它更在黨內玩起抓鬼遊戲,丟紅帽、分敵我。所有曾在陳水扁貪瀆案期間發出「改革」呼籲的同志,全被當成「叛徒」聲討,這正是民進 黨精神錯亂的徵兆。而早年曾提供台獨理論指導的新潮流系,因主張在兩岸關係上採取務實作為,被深綠激進派貼上「統派」、「中國派」的標籤;這顯示民進黨內 部已為奪權殺紅了眼,「正名」恰好提供了一個同志相殘的大藉口。


拆 銅像也好,廢國語也罷,說穿了都只是煙幕彈,對台灣「正名」毫無實質助益。執政者想要的,只是從破毀的過程中輻射出來的仇恨和怨氣,那才可以遮掩它施政的 無能,並從中攫取戰功。民進黨若真要「正名」,原有更民主的途徑可以通行,但它卻完全罔顧民意,逕自採取了最粗暴、最濫權的手段。如此一來,在社會的向度 上,藍綠愈發斷離;在認同的向度上,台灣意識的凝聚愈發不易;在政治的向度上,民主的前程也愈發堪憂。

一個鼓吹仇恨的執政黨,豈可能帶來 和諧的社會?這一波的「拆、排、切、廢」大破大毀,看不出能為台灣創造一個全新的面孔或身分,反而將毀掉人民原有的自信和認同。二○○四年的割喉戰,被閹 割的是藍軍;二○○八之役,躺在民進黨砧板上的是台灣,而人民是待宰的魚肉。這場政治屠夫操刀的「正名」整形手術,只怕是要將台灣徹底毀容吧!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Forcing the King to abdicate is Nothing. Having No Sense of Shame is Everything

Forcing the King to abdicate is Nothing. Having No Sense of Shame is Everything
China Times editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 27, 2007

Comment: Among the many myths promulgated by democracies and other monopolistic states, is the myth that "public property" belongs to "The People."

The reality of course is that there is no such thing as "The People." There are only millions of sovereign and independent individuals, most of whom are strangers to each other, each of whom is understandably constrained by "rational ignorance."

The predictable consequence of this reality is that "public property" invariably ends up as the private property of powerful officials and their wealthy cronies.

TVBS "News Nightclub" expose of DPP political patronage in the form of endless sweetheart deals: Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit System scandal, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation scandal, China Airlines scandal, Electronic Toll Collection scandal, Mega Bank scandal

TVBS "News Nightclub" expose of DPP political patronage in the form of endless sweetheart deals: Waterland Financial Holdings scandal, Taiwan Development Bank scandal, Chung Hua Telecom scandal, Asia Pacific Broadband Telecom scandal, Taiwan Television Enterprise scandal

Anyone who expects the token safeguards incorporated into democracies and other monopolistic states to provide "checks and balances" on such officials within the nominally separate, but actually monolithic "branches of government," is hopelessly naive.

The harsh reality is that the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers, within the context of a monopolistic state, is a contradiction in terms.

No matter how hard one tries to divide a monopolistic state into "branches" the reality is that all such "branches" live off the same "tax revenues," better known as protection money, extracted by force from "taxpayers," better known as victims of extortion.

As long as a nation is ruled by a conventional monopolistic state rather than served by Private Defense Agencies (PDAs), any ostensibly "separate and independent branches" of government will always perceive themselves as inseparable parts of the same government, the one government, the only government.

And the outrages described in the following China Times editorial will play themselves out endlessly like a broken record.

Economic Selections, not Democratic Elections
The Myth of Checks and Balances

Forcing the King to abdicate is Nothing. Having No Sense of Shame is Everything
China Times editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 27, 2007

Recently Premier Su Tseng-chang was ambushed on the road to the 2008 presidency. During the primary debates, Premier Su found himself surrounded and under attack by Yu Hsi-kuen and Deep Green organizations, who accused him of not being sufficiently Green, i.e., not being militantly pro-independence. They also accused him of "forcing the king to abdicate" when Chen Shui-bian was under attack by Red Shirt Army protesters. In order to clear the primary hurdles, Premier Su felt compelled to defend himself against accusations that he was pressuring Chen to step down, and attempted to clear himself through various channels. But frankly speaking, whether he pressured Chen to step down is merely a tempest in a teacup, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) family affair. And if Premier Su used language that pressured a corrupt leader to step down, so what? That hardly constitutes a character defect. By contrast, the conduct of Su cabinet officials, publicly revealed yesterday by Fuji television network representative Sumio Hasegawa, truly was something to be ashamed of.

Yesterday, during a press conference convened by former Taiwan Television Enterprise Ltd (TTV) Chairman Lai Kuo-chou, the Fuji television network representative revealed an astonishing piece of inside information regarding the role of Executive Yuan cabinet members during the public auction of TTV shares. Hasegawa indicated that on January 17, he received a luncheon invitation from Government Information Office (GIO) Chief Cheng Wen-tsang. Present at the luncheon, in addition to Chief Cheng, were Minister of Economic Affairs Steven Chen, and the executive editor, chairman of the board, and deputy editor-in-chief of the Liberty Times Group. During the session, GIO Chief Cheng Wen-tsang declared that "Fuji is free to sell its shares to anyone it wishes, but it must sell its shares to the Liberty Times, which is in attendance today." After which he indicated through Steve Chen that he had already instructed the other Japanese companies to sell their shares to the Liberty Times. Following Sumio Hasegawa's press conference, neither of the two cabinet members, Cheng Wen-tsang or Steve Chen, denied having such conversations. They merely muttered terse evasions. Clearly what Hasegawa said was true. Shame on the Su cabinet and the ruling DPP government, whose attempt to influence the sale of TTV shares has been publicly exposed by Japanese reporters.

GIO Chief Cheng Wen-tsang: "Fuji is free to sell its shares to anyone it wishes ... "

GIO Chief Cheng Wen-tsang: " ... but it must sell its shares to the Liberty Times. The right to the shares must be sold to a media organization we can trust. "

GIO Chief Cheng Wen-tsang: "For the Liberty Times to control TTV is the best choice."

Seven years ago, when the DPP was an opposition party, it blasted the Kuomintang (KMT) for "Party-State Capitalism." But the behavior of the DPP since it assumed office has made the KMT look like a piker. The only difference between it and the KMT is its outer trappings. During its early years the KMT government took over a large number of Japanese state-owned enterprises and private enterprises. Some were turned over to the national government to become state-owned enterprises. Others were turned over to the KMT to become party-owned enterprises. Over time, these enterprises, through long-term investments and the transfer of capital, yielded a ponderous system in which no distinction was made between the party and the state. The DPP has been in power for seven years. Although it has not been able to turn these enterprises over to outsiders, it has been able to cite demands for the privatization of state-owned enterprises and calls for the public ownership of the media as pretexts to grant financial groups close to the DPP wave upon wave of benefits, resulting in an impressive Party-State Capitalist system of its own.

Beginning with the Orwellian-named "Second Financial Reform" program three years ago, which had an immediate impact on the ongoing public offering of TTV shares, the DPP blueprint for its own version of "Party-State Capitalism" has been clear for all to see. In 2006, the Chang Hua Bank was acquired by Taishin Financial Holdings. No matter what the details were, the transaction was certainly advantageous to the Wu family, otherwise they would not have submitted a bid. In 2004 the government kicked out former China Development Financial Holding Corporation (CDFH) Chairperson Chen Min-hsun. Then, working hand in glove with the Ku family, which owned shares for less than six months, allowed the latter to acquire an unlimited number of proxies, and allowed control of a company worth hundreds of billions in New Taiwan Dollars to be delivered into the hands of financial groups with close ties to the First Family. The shares of these financial groups, according to reports, are overvalued. The board of directors of Taishin and China Trust hold a pitifully small number of shares. Their hostile takeovers of Chang Hua Bank and CDFH were accomplished by means of financial subterfuge, using "other peoples' money." The actual investment of the financial groups was minuscule. Therefore, the DPP government's "Second Financial Reform" is in truth nothing more than an expedient means of transferring control of major corporations to financial groups friendly to the ruling regime.

The improprieties of the "Second Financial Reform" program are clear to see. But the TTV stock offering before us is even uglier. As everyone knows, the privatization of state-owned enterprises is motivated by considerations of efficiency rather than morality. But the withdrawal of political parties, the government, and the armed forces from the media is predicated upon the ideal of healthy political evolution, which does involve strong conceptions of right and wrong. Not only is the DPP incapable of implementing its original ideals concerning public ownership of the media, two of its cabinet members openly cajoled and threatened foreign media organizations, demanding that they sell their shares to the DPP-friendly Liberty Times. The GIO Chief went so far as to suggest that "As far as the ruling party is concerned, for the Liberty Times to assume control of TTV is the ideal choice." Is this something that anyone who has the faintest conception of what constitutes news ought to say?

As we pointed out in yesterday's editorial, government property and government franchises are public property, not the private property of the DPP, Chen Shui-bian, or Su Chen-chang. Executive Yuan officials, including the GIO chief, the minister of economic affairs, and the minister of finance, seem incapable of grasping the notion that their duty is to defend the rights of the public. The only thing they seem aware of, is how to toady up to their superiors. Seeing Japanese businessmen as easy marks, they resorted to naked coercion, attempting to intimidate them into selling their shares to designated buyers. Faced with financial group bullying, despite gross corporate mismanagement, all they dared to do was to go on the market and collect proxies. They didn't dare mention the debt the financial groups incurred three years ago. This kind of administration, this kind of ruling party, so outwardly fierce but so inwardly faint-hearted, leaves us speechless. We would like to ask Premier Su just one question: Does nothing else concern you except the accusation that you attempted to "force the king to abdicate?"

Original Chinese below:

有沒有逼宮事小 知不知羞恥事大

最 近數日,行政院長蘇貞昌在二○○八路上正身陷重圍。初選辯論,蘇揆受游錫?與黨內深綠團體圍剿,怪他獨派色彩不 夠鮮明,又指責他在紅衫軍攻扁之際「逼宮」。為了過初選這一關,蘇揆對於逼宮之說非常地在意,透過各種管道拚命澄清。但是坦白說,有沒有逼宮只是民進黨茶 壺內的風暴,而蘇揆即使真有逼退貪腐領導人之言語,也未必是什麼人格上的瑕疵。相對而言,昨日富士電視台代表長谷川澄男所公布的蘇內閣閣員作為,才是真正 的羞恥。

日本富士電視台代表日前在台視前董事長賴國洲陪同下召開記者會,公布行政 院閣員介入台視釋股案之驚人內幕。長谷川 表示,一月十七日他受新聞局長鄭文燦之邀赴午宴,席中除鄭局長之外,還有經濟部長陳瑞隆、自由時報社長、董事長、副總編等多人。在席間,新聞局長鄭文燦提 到:「富士(股份)要賣給誰,是富士的自由,但一定要賣給今天在座的自由時報。」而後,經長陳瑞隆亦表示,他已經與其他持有台視股票的日本公司說明,也要 求他們賣給自由時報。在長谷川澄男記者會後,鄭文燦、陳瑞隆兩位閣員都沒有否認有類似談話,只是支吾其詞地做些閃躲,可見長谷川所言大致不虛。對於兩位閣 員被日本記者公然爆料指責,揭穿民進黨政府多位閣員不當介入私人股票買賣、引導台視釋股方向的作為,我們真的為蘇內閣感到慚愧。

七 年前民進黨在野時,批評國民黨最力的,就是該黨的「黨國資本主義」。但是民進黨執政後的表現,卻大有後來居上之 勢,只是形式與國民黨略為不同而已。早年國民黨政府接收大量的日本國營與私營企業,有些由國家經營,有些則私相授予國民黨而成為黨營事業。這些事業再經過 長時間的投資與轉投資,遂形成黨國不分的龐大體系。民進黨執政七年期間,雖未能由外部接收企業而予以分配,卻藉著社會要求國營事業民營化與媒體公共化的呼 聲,將一波波利益轉讓給與民進黨友好的財團,一樣也形成可觀的黨國資本裙帶圈。

從 三年前推動的二次金改,與當下正在進行的台視公司釋股案,國人已能清楚看到民進黨版的「黨國資本主義」藍圖。二 ○○六年彰化銀行被併入台新金控,不論交易條件細節如何,該交易一定是對台新吳家有利,他們才會願意投標。二○○四年政府踢走中華開發金控原有團隊陳敏 薰,再與持股不足六個月的辜家聯手無限制徵求委託書,更是平白無故地將千億資產的公司經營拱手讓予勤走官邸的財團。這些財團據報載其股票設值比例奇高,台 新與中信董監持股佔資產比重都低得可憐,故併吞彰銀與開發都只是「用別人錢」的財務操作,財團真正投入的成本微乎其微。因此,民進黨政府的二次金改,可以 說是極為廉價地將大公司經營權讓渡給友好財團。

二次金改私相授受之不當已如前述, 但是目前發生之台視釋股案則更為醜陋。如所週知,公營事業移轉民營只是基於效率 的考量,背後並沒有什麼道德正當性;但是黨政軍退出媒體卻是基於民主政治正常發展的理想,其政策背後確實是有極強的正當理念。現在,民進黨不但不能貫徹媒 體公共化的初衷,甚至由兩位內閣閣員出面,對國外媒體軟硬兼施,要求賣給與民進黨友好的自由時報。新聞局長甚至在席間表示:「對執政黨而言…由自由時報來 接收『掌控』台視會是最佳選擇」,這像是有新聞理念的人講的話嗎?

我們在日前社論 已經明白指出,所有的國家資產或經營權都是公產,不是民進黨、陳水扁或蘇貞昌的私產。我們的行政院 團隊(包括新聞局長、經濟部長、財政部長)不能秉持理念為人民爭取權益,卻只知對長官曲意配合。看日商狀似好欺,就脅迫就範,強行指定賣股對象;碰上財團 橫行霸道,雖然有一籮筐公司治理瑕疵,卻只敢到市場上收委託書,完全不敢提三年前的再造之恩。這樣一組行政團隊、這樣一個執政黨、這樣色厲內荏的表現,我 們真不知道要說什麼。我們只想請教蘇揆:除了逼宮危機之外,您心中還有沒有其他更重要的價值呢?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nothing more than a Legal Hack?

Nothing more than a Legal Hack?
United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 26, 2007

Comment: Taiwan independence fellow travelers love to gush about Taiwan's "lively/thriving/vibrant" democracy. But as the following editorial in the mass-circulation United Daily News, the largest Chinese language newspaper on Taiwan makes clear, judicial independence is a chimera on today's Pan Green fascist-ruled Taiwan.

The only defect in this otherwise excellent article is its conceptually imprecise, overly generous title, which characterizes Deep Green High Court Public Prosecutor Eric Chen as a "legal hack" or "hack lawyer."

Eric Chen does not deserve such a characterization. Such a characterization is far too flattering. A legal hack is an unimaginative drone who mechanically applies the letter of the law consistently in all cases, regardless of whether it is appropriate or not. A legal hack's failing is not a lack of integrity, but a lack of imagination.

Eric Chen is not a legal hack. Eric Chen lacks the robotic integrity of a legal hack. Eric Chen is a hatchet man. A hatchet man's failing is not a lack of imagination, but a lack of integrity. Eric Chen is a Deep Green hatchet man who applies the law inconsistently from case to case, according to orders from above and the political affiliation of his intended victim.

Public Prosecutor Eric Chen's laughably Orwellian poster reads: "Eric Chen, Conscience. A Solomonic legal judgment. We are willing to wait. We are willing to believe. A pro-democracy activist in his youth, non-partisan, concerned only with right and wrong, unconcerned with political coloration, from start to finish, a public prosecutor concerned only with justice"

Hou Kuan-ren, Eric Chen clone

Nothing more than a Legal Hack?

United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 26, 2007

Why haven't the Discretionary Fund accounts of the "Four Princes" (Su Tseng-tsang, Frank Hsieh, Annette Lu, and Yu Hsi-kuen, the four political stars of the DPP) been investigated and made public? According to reports, Public Prosecutor Eric Chen said that he was afraid of affecting the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) presidential primaries! But when Eric Chen and Hou Kuan-jen indicted Ma Ying-jeou for alleged misuse of his Discretionary Fund account, didn't they tell us that they didn't care about politics, they didn't care about the presidential election?

Is this the same Eric Chen? Is this the same public prosecutor's office?

That Eric Chen and Hou Kuan-jen of the High Court Public Prosecutor's Office Anti-corruption Center have refused to apply the same standards to the four political stars of the DPP that they have applied to Ma Ying-jeou is the key reason their handling of the Discretionary Fund account case is unfair and unjust.

The legal opinions of public prosecutors in the north and the south clearly differ. If Chen and Hou had prosecuted every one of these political figures, including Ma Ying-jeou and the four political stars of the DPP, and dealt with every one of them in the exact same manner, then out of respect for prosecutorial independence, we would have little to say and would simply leave the outcome to the courts.

The problem is not that Chen and Hou's opinons differ from those of other public prosecutors. The problem is that Chen and Hou dealt with Ma Ying-jeou in a different manner than they did the four political stars of the DPP. This has inflicted irreparable damage to the justice system and cast doubt upon its impartiality.

The failure of Eric Chen and Hou Kuan-jen to investigate and prosecute the four political stars of the DPP, and to apply the same standards to them as they did during their investigation and prosecution of Ma Ying-jeou, constitutes a major legal and political injustice. This is a responsibility Chen and Hou cannot evade. From a legal perspective, the Anti-corruption Center will soon be dissolved. Their cases will be taken over by the Special Investigative Unit. But signs suggest that most prosecutors within the Tainan Public Prosecutor's Office believe that half of the funds within the Discretionary Fund account do not need receipts. Therefore once the Special Investigative Unit takes over, the four major political stars of the DPP, in contrast with Ma Ying-jeou, will be presumed innocent. How can it be that Ma Ying-jeou alone is subject to the harshest interpretation of law? How can Chen and Hou turn a deaf ear to demands from all walks of society that the same standards and protocol must apply in all cases, but instead persist in indicting Ma Ying-jeou alone?

From a political perspective, by invoking the most Draconian standards in their indictment of Ma Ying-jeou, Chen and Hou have put Ma Ying-jeou in the same legal predicament that Chen Shui-bian finds himself in. Not only have Chen and Hou erected endless barriers in the way of Ma Ying-jeou's presidential bid, they have conferred a major political advantage on the four political stars of the DPP, one of whom will be the DPP's next presidential candidate. Is this not a disguised form of intervention in the next presidential election? Hasn't applying different standards to the manner in which one investigates and prosecutes candidates belonging to different political parties already resulted in unfairness in the election process?

Chen and Hou have argued that they will prosecute the four political stars of the DPP case no more than a month after they prosecuted Ma Ying-jeou. They have argued "We don't have enough manpower," and claimed that was the reason the cases didn't go forward simultaneously. Now however, they have admitted that the real reason was they were "afraid it would affect the DPP presidential primaries."

Based on information made public following the Tainan Public Prosecutor's investigation into the Two Hsus case, prosecutors in the north and south knew that they would arrive at different conclusions, even before they announced their findings. The Tainan Public Prosecutor's Office had communicated with Chen and Hou but had been unable to arrive at an agreement with them. Furthermore, Chen and Hou knew perfectly well that the legislature had approved Chen Tsung-ming as prosecutor general, that the Special Investigative Unit was being formed, and that the High Court Public Prosecutor's Anti-corruption Center was being dissolved. The media even reported that Eric Chen was a subject of investigation by the Special Investigative Unit. Chen and Hou knew perfectly well that differences in legal opinion would arise, and that the legal institutions were under reorganization. Therefore, for the sake of fairness, shouldn't they have processed every case according to the same standards and protocol, instead of fixating on a single case? Instead, they hurriedly prosecuted only the Ma Ying-jeou case. The four major political stars of the DPP case, the Weng Yueh-sheng case, and the Chen Tang-shan case, were all set to one side. It is widely assumed that prosecutors as savvy and experienced as Chen and Hou would never stoop so low. Now however, the reason they did stoop so low is known. They were "afraid of the effect on the DPP presidential primaries." But if that was the case, why weren't these same prosecutors afraid of the effect on the KMT presidential primaries while they were busy prosecuting Ma Ying-jeou?

Furthermore, Eric Chen let off Chen Shui-bian off the hook in the State Affairs Confidential Expenses Case, voluntarily declaring that Chen Shui-bian "did not need documentation" for half of his expenses. He publicly insisted that numerous accomplices whom he never investigated, including members of Chen Shui-bian's family, "ought to be forgiven." The contrast between Eric Chen's generous manner then, with the unforgiving manner in which he and Hou Kuan-jen dealt with Ma Ying-jeou afterwards, is the difference between night and day. Doesn't this arouse suspicions that the public prosecutor's handling of the case amounts to a vast conspiracy to frame Ma Ying-jeou, and a flagrant attempt to manipulate the future political landscape?

In their bill of indictment for the Two Hsus case, the Tainan Public Prosecutor said that one who mechanically applies the law is a "legal hack." Some people thought his criticism was overly harsh. If Chen and Hou were merely "legal hacks" they could still be forgiven. What is truly frightening is their premeditated abuse of judicial authority in order to influence the political situation.

Sure enough, Eric Chen's public declarations have confirmed society's worst fears.

Original Chinese below:







陳 瑞仁和侯寬仁未以同步、同標準偵辦馬英九和民進黨「四大天王」等案件,在法律和政治兩方面都造成了嚴重的不公不義。這是陳侯二人無從逃逭的責任。在法律方 面,查黑中心即將解散,案件將移特偵組接手;而跡象顯示,南檢關於特別費不要單據的一半採「無罪說」的法律見解,似為多數檢察官的意見,則特偵組接手後, 對民進黨「四大天王」等案就很可能亦採「無罪說」,而與馬案不同。然則,陳侯二人的嚴苛法律見解,豈不是只由馬英九一人承受?而陳侯二人當時又何以置各界 同步、同標準偵結以示公平的呼籲於不顧,堅持非先起訴馬英九一人不可?

在政治方面,陳侯二人以嚴苛標準起訴馬英九,讓馬英九和即將下台的 陳水扁一樣官司纏身,不啻造成馬英九競選總統從起步就面臨困難重重的障礙;同時,陳侯二人卻放過了手中將產生民進黨下屆總統候選人的「四大天王」的同類案 件,相對而言已使「四大天王」居於有利地位,這豈不是以案件偵辦步調的不同,變相地介入了下屆總統選舉,操弄了下屆總統選舉,甚且已經造成選舉不公?


以 南檢偵結二許案之後公開的訊息看來,早在南北兩案都還未偵結前,南檢曾與陳侯二人溝通,但未取得共識;因而,南北檢方法律見解不同,應是陳侯二人早已知悉 之事。再者,隨著檢察總長陳聰明人事案通過,特偵組已在籌組中,高檢查黑中心即將解散,亦為陳侯二人明知之事(媒體曾報導陳瑞仁亦是特偵組徵詢對象之 一)。既然明知法律意見有歧異,機關組織又將調整,則陳侯二人為公平處理起見,理應將手中全部相關案件以同標準、同步偵結,而絕不宜單獨偵結某一案件。但 偏偏只急速偵結馬案,「四大天王」及翁岳生、陳唐山等案卻擱置一旁。一般認為,以陳侯二人的辦案歷練,當不致如此;今答案揭曉,竟是「怕影響民進黨初 選」。那麼,為何偵辦馬英九時,檢察官無此類想法?

再者,陳瑞仁在國務機要費案放過陳水扁自行宣稱「不需單據」的一半,又對許多未追究的 共犯包括陳水扁的家人公開表示「饒了他們吧」;對照當時陳瑞仁寬厚的態度,與後來他和侯寬仁嚴辦馬英九的手法,誠是天差地別。果係如此,豈不令人懷疑檢察 官藉辦案布置了一個天大的政治陰謀,構陷馬英九,赤裸裸地欲影響未來的政局?



Sunday, March 25, 2007

Normal Methods to achieve a "Normal Country"

Normal Methods to achieve a "Normal Country"
China Times editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 25, 2007

Comment: Taiwan independence Quislings want Taiwan to be a "normal country." But Taiwan can never be a "normal country" because Taiwan is not a country, "normal" or otherwise. It is a province of China.

The reason Taiwan is abnormal, the reason Taiwan is experiencing the myriad problems cataloged in the following China Times editorial, is that Taiwan independence Quislings persist in trying to make Taiwan into something that it isn't. The only way to make Taiwan "normal" is to make it what it is, a province of China, specifically, the Republic of China.

Taiwan independence Quislings need to wise up to the fact that Taiwan as a province of the Republic of China is as normal as it's going to get.

Taiwan independence Quislings who refuse to accept Taiwan as a province of the Republic of China need to ask themselves if they would prefer Taiwan as a province of the People's Republic of China, because those are the only two choices they're ever going to get.

As former Secretary of State Colin Powell put it, accurately as well as bluntly, "Taiwan is not independent. It does not enjoy sovereignty as a nation."

A "sovereign and independent nation of Taiwan" is not in the cards, not in this universe.

Google's Map of the Chinese province of Taiwan

Normal Methods to achieve a "Normal Country"

China Times editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 25, 2007

What must Taiwan [the Republic of China government on Taiwan] do before the Republic of China can be considered a "normal country?" Must it ignite the flames of war by "rectifying names," starting from Taipei and ending up overseas? Must it tear down company signs containing the words "China" or "Chinese," from the southern tip of Taiwan to the northern tip of Taiwan? Or should it undertake reforms, develop the economy, and seek consensus?

As the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) "Green Son of Heaven" Chen Shui-bian sponsors conferences questioning whether the constitution is a "One China" constitution and whether the premier "attempted to force the king to abdicate," and as the Legislative Yuan repeatedly blocks ruling DPP government-sponsored bills and budgets, these controversies underscore the great divide in Taiwan society. If either the ruling party or the opposition party adheres rigidly to ideology, and deliberately ignores such differences, even if it succeeds in removing every last sign reading "China," Taiwan will still not qualify as a "normal country." If, under such a regime, one is engaged in politics and promoting policies that impact the lives of large numbers of people, yet is blind to any considerations except political considerations, then one is disregarding the people's real needs.

Democratic politics means seeking consensus through the democratic process, and based on such a consensus, promoting the nation's social development. The DPP government, disregarding the will of the majority, insists on "rectifying names." The result may satisfy the ideological needs of certain elements within society, but they increase social polarization and make it impossible to pass important legislation or budgets in the national legislature, leaving the country and the government in chaos.

For example, the ruling DPP illegally removed all "China Postal Company" signs and stamps and changed them to read "Taiwan Post Co. Ltd." even before the relevant laws were passed. The ruling DPP government may consider its "rectification of names" campaign a success, but the China Postal Company annual budget still hasn't been approved by the Legislative Yuan. Relevant legislation has not only been repeatedly blocked, it hasn't even been submitted for deliberation. The democratic process requires a nation's policies to be approved by its legislature. The strategic scenario of a minority ruling party and a majority opposition party is a political reality that the ruling DPP government has no choice but to accept.

China Postal Company signs may have been changed to read "Taiwan Postal Co. Ltd." but the company's legal footing remains dubious. The China Petroleum Corporation was craftier. It changed its name to "Taiwan China Petroleum," sidestepping the need to revise its name legally. Nevertheless, it remains a state-owned enterprise whose budget must be approved by the Legislative Yuan. Sure enough, China Petroleum's budget remains deadlocked.

Next, there is the "Draft Law for the National Language" which has been criticized by opposition parties as an attempt to desinicize the Republic of China, and which was blasted even before being sent to the legislature. To be fair, it is not wrong for the DPP to want a legal basis for the nation's language. Preserving linguistic diversity is a global trend. Previous governments adopted strong arm tactics while promoting the current official language. Perhaps this contributed to the hostility DPP or pro-independence elements feel toward the current official language. But adopting a "win/lose" attitude and refusing to communicate can only lead to legislation becoming mired in political considerations. It can only deepen the mistrust and insecurity felt by ethnic groups accustomed to using different languages. The fate of such legislation can easily be imagined.

The language of the revised draft law for the "Organic Laws for the National Palace Museum," which deletes references to "ancient Chinese cultural relics and art objects," and to the "National Beijing Palace Museum" on museum labels, has also provoked charges of desinicization. Whether one wishes to desinicize or not is a political question. But the history of the National Palace Museum is clear. Its main collection of cultural relics came from Beijing's National Palace Museum. One may be able to delete mention of these facts from museum labels, but that does not mean one can delete the historical memory of the National Palace Museum's origin. More to the point, why is such Orwellian historical revisionism the ruling DPP government's highest priority? The National Palace Museum South Building is currently under construction. The National Palace Museum South Building could have been made separate and distinct from the National Palace Museum. In fact, if the DPP government had wanted to establish another museum, why did it insist on attaching the South Building to the side of the National Palace Museum? Why didn't it define the current South Building as an entirely new museum?

Proposed legislation and budgets, whether they have been sent to the legislature or not, all provoke ruling government and opposition party polarization and unrest. Legislative review of budgets and bills require certain set procedures. Ruling DPP administrative improprieties and legal violations have made smooth passage of the annual budget impossible. The 2008 budget is looming, even as the 2007 budget recedes toward the horizon. Is this the way a "normal government" operates?

Don't even mention proposed legislation. With few exceptions, legislative review of proposed legislation is a waste of time. Without negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties, expecting bills to become law is wishful thinking. Among the bills currently stalled in the legislature is the Revised Draft Law for Central Election Committee. This bill is tied up with the arms budget. Old bills remain stalled, even as new controversies arise. With the legislature and the executive locked in endless political struggles, what can we expect the government to get done?

Don't place all the blame on the legislature. Reviewing budgets is the responsibility of the legislature. But pointless, deliberately provocative, irresponsible attempts to push through legislation that one knows perfectly well will never pass, that fail to respect the need to establish priorities, that ignore majority opinion, that is the responsibility of the executive! Motivated by the upcoming presidential election, the political stars of the DPP are falling over each other ingratiating themselves with Deep Green extremists. As a result, Taiwan's economic development and social harmony will suffer irreparable damage.

Original Chinese below:



正 當民進黨綠天王舉行辯論會,爭執憲法是否一中、閣揆是否逼宮時,立法院一次又一次擋下了民進黨政府提送的法案和預算案,凸顯了台灣社會的反差。不論執政 者或在野黨,若執著於意識形態,刻意忽視這樣的落差,即使拆遍「中華」的招牌,台灣,都還不能謂為「正常的國家」。因為,在這個國度裡,從事政治、推動政 策因而影響多數人民生活的人,眼睛裡只看到政治,卻無視於人民真正的需要。

民主政治就是要透過民主程序,尋求最大共識,並在這個最大共識 下,推動國家社會的發展。民進黨政府無視多數民意,執意「正名」,其結果就是滿足特定人士的 意識形態,卻擴大社會的兩極對立,更麻煩的是,所有的重大法案、預算都不可能得到國會的支持,國家、政府運轉其實是處於扭曲狀態。

舉例而 言,中華郵政公司在相關法律修改前,即先行拆換全台郵局的招牌,郵品上的「中華」標誌全面變更。民進黨政府認為「正名」成功,但是,中華郵政的年度 預算,迄今不被立法院接受,相關修法案,一再被封殺,連審議的邊都沾不上。民主程序必須在國會中完成,朝小野大的國會生態,是民進黨政府不能不接受的現 實。


接 下來,還有被在野政黨批評為「去國語化」的《國語法草案》,還沒送到立法院就被罵翻天。持平而論,民進黨政府要讓國家語言有一個法定基礎,並不為過;保 存多種語言也是世界潮流。無可諱言,前朝政府在推動現行通用的官方語言時,同樣採取了強行壓制的手段,或許是讓民進黨,或獨派人士對現行通用官方語言敵視 的原因。然而,以爭輸贏的心態,不做溝通,只會讓這樣的立法案,摻入政治因素,讓慣用不同語言的族群,加深彼此的不信任感和自己的不安全感,這個法案的下 場可想而知。

一路數下來,包括《國立故宮博物院組織條例》修正草案,在內文中刪掉了有關「中國古代文物藝術品」和「國立北平故宮博物院」 等文字敘述,同樣引發去中國化 的爭議,去不去中國化是政治問題,但是故宮存在的歷史清清楚楚,其主要收藏文物確係來自北平的故宮博物院,刪掉了這樣的文字敘述,卻刪不掉故宮的歷史淵 源;最重要的,此時此刻,有必要把這樣的文字修正,列為優先施政項目嗎?故宮南院刻正興建中,南院與故宮本身即可做一區隔,甚至如果民進黨政府要另立博物 院,為什麼南院還要沾故宮的邊?就明確清楚的將現行故宮南院定位為新博物院不好嗎?

上述法案與預算案,不論已送立法院或待送立法院,都引 起朝野的對立和不安。國會審議預算與法案,有一定的程序,從預算案而言,因為民進黨政府不當的行政措 施,或者未依法行政,造成年度預算無法順利通關,眼看著九十七年度預算即將開編,九十六年度預算卻還遙遙無期,這豈是政府正常運轉之道?

法 案就更不要提了,幾無例外,立法院審查法案曠日廢時,若非經朝野協商簽字,預期法案三讀,直如天方夜譚。眼前擺在立法院過不了的修法案,中選會組織法修 正草案即是其一,因為這個法案,還連帶綁住了軍購預算。舊案未過,新的爭議又來,立法院朝野永遠為了新的政治口水,纏鬥不休,政府還能做什麼事呢?

不 要把責任都丟給立法院,審議預算法案,是立法院的責任,但是,漫無標的,甚至刻意以引起爭議的方式,狂推明知通不過的法案,既未弄清楚己身職權的優先順 序,亦未體會多數民意需求所在,那就是行政機關不負責任!為了總統大選,民進黨天王競相向深綠忠誠表態拚政治,台灣的經濟發展、社會和諧,卻將因此遭到無 法彌補的傷害。

Friday, March 23, 2007

Is the "Second Republic" a "Draft Constitution to Sell Out Taiwan?"

Is the "Second Republic" a "Draft Constitution to Sell Out Taiwan?"
United Daily News Editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 23, 2007

Comment: The Chen regime's so-called "Draft Constitution for a Second Republic of China" was written with the intention of taking yet another step toward Taiwan independence. While it may succeed in weakening the Taiwan region's identification with the government of the Republic of China, Its defective language may unwittingly strengthen the hold the People's Republic of China government on the Chinese mainland has over the island. In short, from a Taiwan independence True Believer's perspective, "out of the frying pan, and into the fire."

Is the "Second Republic" a "Draft Constitution to Sell Out Taiwan?"

United Daily News Editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 23, 2007

Chen Shui-bian touts the concept of a "Second Republic of China" as one which "unyielding defends principles, but does not sacrifice practicality," and Ku Kuan-min echoed his sentiments. A few days later, a "Draft Constitution for a Second Republic of China" emerged, and the public watched as this constitutional revisionist trial balloon took to the air.

Astonishingly, the very first sentence of the "Draft Constitution of the Second Republic" contains a mistake. The first sentence of the preamble states that "The Republic of China was established in 1911," when in fact the Republic of China was established in 1912. This passes as a minor mistake in the draft constitution. The major mistakes are both more numerous and more egregious.

The most questionable section of the preamble is this passage: "The establishment of any form of political relations between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China must first undergo peaceful and equitable negotiations, then be submitted to a popular referendum."

This provision links the "Republic of China" and the "People's Republic of China," and in addition stipulates that "the establishment of any form of political relations" between the two sides must first "undergo negotiations, then be subjected to a popular referendum." But why should the Constitution of the Republic of China be required to include stipulations concerning links with the People's Republic of China? What kind of constitution stipulates that the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China "must negotiate" and establish "political relations?" Furthermore, how is the Republic of China going to hold a public referendum that "must be negotiated" with the People's Republic of China?

Does this not amount to awarding the People's Republic of China, by means of the Constitution of the Republic of China, the "power to participate, negotiate, and even decide" the future of Taiwan?

This "Draft Constitution for the Second Republic" will in fact do everything possible to sever any connection with the previous Republic of China (The First Republic). Who would have expected that the future of the Taiwan region would be so closely linked with the People's Republic of China in such a constitution? This constitution inverts the nonessential and the essential, cause and effect, and antagonist and protagonist. This constitution endeavors by its design to sever links, yet unexpectedly winds up creating links. Is that not both foolish and absurd?

The intention of the author was presumably to smuggle into the preamble a legal pretext for the "Two States Theory" and the holding of a "Taiwan Independence Referendum." But because of fears that this would enrage the Chinese Communist Party and the United States, this could not be stated too clearly. Hence the need for the "equitable negotiations" proviso, and the "unified popular referendum" option. But by doing this, what was originally a "two sides, divided rule" constitution. has by means of a "Second Republic," become a "negotiated future" constitution. The former language, "The Republic of China is a sovereign and independent nation," has ironically become "a linked entity whose future must be negotiated with the People's Republic of China."

We are not suggesting that the two sides cannot or ought not "negotiate," but "negotiations" can proceed only on practical matters affecting both sides of the Taiwan Strait, in pace with shifts in the strategic picture. If the explicit language of the constitution uses this kind of language to link the two sides, this is most assuredly not a solution to one's predicament, but rather sticking one's own head into the guillotine. In fact, the past several attempts to "author a new constitution" and to conduct a "popular referendum" resulted in the wiggle room for Taiwan independence getting smaller and smaller. This "Draft Constitution for the Second Republic," assuming it ever materializes, would by means of an explicitly worded constitution, bind the future of the Taiwan region with the People's Republic of China. One really has to wonder what its proponents are thinking.

Especially worrisome is the fact that the Taiwan independence movement still does not dare to dispense with the name, "Republic of China," but can only engage in self-deceit and deceit of others by using the name "Second Republic." But even though they have retained the name "Republic of China" as an amulet to protect themselves, they have been busy eliminating every trace of the Republic of China. They have endeavored to empty the "Republic of China" of every last bit of substance, while retaining the name "Republic of China" for appearance. The final result is predictable. Because the Taiwan independence movement cannot dispense with the name "Republic of China," it will never be able to achieve its final goal. Meanwhile, the "Republic of China" will have been emptied of all substance, leaving a body without a soul. This is not "nation-building," but "nation-destroying." The Taiwan region of China will never become the "Republic of Taiwan," but neither will it remain the last bastion of the "Republic of China." The soul of the nation having been buried, what will remain? The "Constitution of the Second Republic" does not dare to cross the red line of Taiwan independence, therefore it does not dare to do away with the "Republic of China." One can safely predict, based on the myriad problems the draft constitution must address, that it will end up as nothing more than a massive farce, involving self-deception and the deception of others.

The "Draft Constitution for a Second Republic of China" has taken another step toward emptying out the substance of the Republic of China. However not only can it not meet the expectations of the Taiwan independence movement, it has handed the future of the Taiwan region over to the People's Republic of China for "negotiation." Could it really be that the "Draft Constitution of the Second Republic" is in fact a "Draft Constitution to Sell Out Taiwan?"

Original Chinese below:





此一條款將「中華民國」與「中華人民共和國」加以連結,且規定兩岸「建立任何形式 政治關係」,「須經協商後,(始可)交付公投」。但是,為何中華民國要在憲法中規定與中華人民共和國的此種連結?又何以憲法要規定中華民國「須」與中華人 民共和國「協商」建立「政治關係」?更何以中華民國實施公投,「須經」與中華人民共和國「協商」?



起草者的立意應是想藉這段前言偷渡「兩國論」,及建立「台獨公投」的法源;卻因怕 觸怒中共及美國,不能明言,所以須有「對等協商」的但書,並亦開放「統一公投」的選項。然而,如此一來,原來這一部「兩岸分治」的憲法,至「第二共和」卻 成了「協商未來」;原來「中華民國是一主權獨立的國家」,卻成了「必須與中華人民共和國協商未來的連結體」。

此處並非主張兩岸不可「協商」,或不應「協商」;但「協商」只能在兩岸實務中依勢 推移。若在憲法明文中以這類文字來建立兩岸連結,這就絕不是解套,而是將自己的脖子送上刀砧的愚妄行徑。其實,過去多次「制憲」、「公投」的嘗試,皆造成 了台獨空間愈鬧愈小的後果;此次《第二共和憲草》倘若實現,竟以白紙黑字的憲法,明文將台灣的未來與中華人民共和國綁在一起,則是更加匪夷所思了!

尤其令人憂慮的是,台獨運動翻騰至今,仍然不敢甩掉「中華民國」四字,而只能以 「第二共和」來「自欺欺人」;但是,雖然保留了「中華民國」四字作為台獨的護身符,卻又對「去中華民國化」不留餘地,欲將「中華民國」的實質內涵完全掏 空,徒留「中華民國」四個字的皮相而已。最後的結局將是:台獨運動因丟棄不了「中華民國」四字,終難成局;而「中華民國」卻亦已掏空挖盡,有體無魂。這絕 不是「族國建造」(Nation-building),而是「族國毀滅」;台灣不可能成為「台灣共和國」,但也不再是「中華民國」了。國魂既喪,國何以 立?《第二共和憲法》不敢跨越台獨的紅線,因此就不敢完全甩掉「中華民國」,從憲草捉襟見肘的表現已可預言,這又是一場「自欺欺人」的鬧劇罷了!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Forgotten by the World, Taiwan Spins Its Wheels

Forgotten by the World, Taiwan Spins Its Wheels
China Times Editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 19, 2007

Comment: The following China Times Editorial, "Forgotten by the World, Taiwan Spins Its Wheels," reveals the predictable and catastrophic consequence of adopting democracy, a congenitally defective political system worshiped by its modern day champions, but rightly detested by America's Founding Fathers.

Thomas Paine

As Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and champion of the American Revolution observed:
"A democracy is the most vile form of government there is!"

John Adams

As John Adams, 2nd President of the United States observed:

"Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

James Madison

As James Madison, 4th President of the United States and Father of the Constitution observed:

"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death."

America's Founding Fathers attempted to safeguard against the defects of democracy by establishing a constitutional republic, a political system they believed to be vastly superior to democracy.

They believed that a constitutional republic was the political system that held the most hope of ensuring the long term preservation of natural rights and individual liberty.

They were absolutely right about a constitutional republic being immeasurably superior to democracy.

Unfortunately they were overly optimistic about the ability of a constitutional republic to avoid degenerating into a democracy.

Advocates of market anarchism know, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, that constitutional restraints such as the "separation of powers" can only delay, not permanently safeguard a republic against degenerating into a democracy.

And degenerate into democracies is exactly what both the two century old US of A and the century old R of C have done.

Over the past two decades, the Republic of China has degenerated from an admittedly flawed republic under the Two Chiangs, into a full-fledged democracy under Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian.

In case champions of democracy think that's a compliment, it's not.

Republic of China citizens living in the Taiwan region of China are now feeling the effects of this political degeneration, and paying a heavy price for their political naivete.

As you read the China Times editorial below, think of the above quotes from the Founding Fathers of America, and note the uncanny relevance they have to Taiwan's current plight.

Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried
Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried, Part II
Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried, Part III

Forgotten by the World, Taiwan Spins Its Wheels
China Times Editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 19, 2007

In its recent 20th anniversary issue cover story, "The Journalist" weekly addressed a topic that receives little attention on today's Taiwan: "2007, The Lost Year," subtitled "Taiwan forgets the world, the world forsakes Taiwan."

Why the title "2007, The Lost Year?" This publication has listed several topics for this year's global agenda, including global warming countermeasures, progress with ASEAN, and the start-up of Asian currency and bond institutions. By contrast, what has Taiwan's agenda been this year? Taiwan's agenda has been the preliminary hearing for [Chen Shui-bian's] State Affairs Confidential Expenses case, the preliminary hearing for Ma Ying-jeou's Special Expenses case, and the jockeying for advantage among Blue and Green camp political stars. Put simply, Taiwan's ruling elite is utterly indifferent to topics which political elites in neighboring East Asia are focused on and busy addressing.

Some people may think that because it's only March, it's still early. But the truth is the nomination processes for the presidential and legislative elections are just getting warmed up. The major players haven't even entered the arena yet. These important issues, which concern the governments of the world, won't be anything that Taiwan's political stars care to respond to in the coming year. To be frank, the fact that "Taiwan has forgotten the outside world" is not that surprising. After all, many people are already concerned about these matters. So what if Taiwan isn't one of them? But how many people realize that many matters within Taiwan that demand attention have also been neglected, and that more and more people are indifferent to them as well?

For example, passage of the the central government's annual budget remains stalled in the legislature. In the past this was considered a serious matter that had to be passed even if it meant burning the midnight oil. But now it seems as if it makes no difference whether it passes or not. For example, the Control Yuan has been in limbo for nearly three years, close to the length of a Control Yuan member's term of office. How many major cases remain unsolved? For a time it looked as if it would start up again, but recently no more news has been forthcoming, and many on Taiwan already seem accustomed to not having a Control Yuan at all. Look at our presidential office. Everyone from presidential mansion staff to secretarial staff and accounting staff have been caught in the State Affairs Confidential Expenses storm. And yet President Chen constantly resorts to all kinds of evasions to avoid prosecution, using delaying tactics and hoping for more favorable circumstances. Last year the Red Shirt Army took to the streets repeatedly in protest. This year no one can even be bothered. The past few months have witnessed a rampant increase in robbery and rape. And yet hardly anyone remembers the premier's boasts and pledges to fight crime. As for the new prosecutor general, approved only after repeated review sessions, no sooner did he assume office than rumors of inappropriate socializing and exchanging of toasts with litigants at evening banquets spread. The litigants act as if the scandal is a matter of indifference. Will such a prosecutor general really be able to stand straight and prosecute major cases? Even if some people care, what can they do? Furthermore, our secretary of defense has insisted all year that he is not clinging to his official position, but until now he has been squatting in his office, playing word games, and acting like a smart aleck. The current minister of education talks about increasing compulsory education to 12 years, but when many teachers and parents consider who the minister of education is, a chill runs down their back.

The above examples are merely a short list off the top of our heads. Actually we could go on indefinitely. All these phenomenon add up to the same conclusion: Taiwan is spinning its wheels. No one should belittle the the system's absurdities and turn a blind eye to them. The public watches these major and minor political players rushing on and off stage, visiting here and visiting there, telling you they are doing this and that, when in fact all they are doing is taking two steps forward and two steps back, diverting our attention with "flavor of the day" controversies, then two days later, acting as if none of it ever happened!

As long as elections are involved, such controversies will be manipulated for all they are worth. Actually, next year's presidential election is one year off, and the legislative elections seven to eight months off. But it appears that the campaigns have already begun in earnest. Political rhetoric has taken the podium by storm: "Anti-Blue Polls" in the DPP party primaries, the "Rectification of Names" for state-owned enterprises, "Four Noes and One Yes," and the tearing down of Chiang Kai-shek's bronze statues. No move is subject to legal scrutiny or thoughtful debate. No one asks whether the move will provoke social polarization. As soon as the bell rings, they're out of the gates, often giving the moves euphemistic names such as "Judicial Reform," when in fact what the international media sees is: "Cultural Revolution!"

The global agenda mentioned at the beginning has utterly vanished from the domestic picture. Until now our leaders have attempted to shout cheap slogans in order to provoke cross-Straits tensions, not realizing that the opposite side of the Strait is undergoing rapid economic transformation and leading the reorganization of the East Asian strategic scene. Where are Taiwan's countermeasures? Who knows? At the same time, our leaders relentlessly seek to promote the "Rectification of Names," eliminate all vestiges of Chiang Kai-shek's legacy, and ratchet up internal social polarizaton. They remain callously indifferent to the personal safety of women on Taiwan, to the well-being of 20,000 latchkey kids, including some 16,000 school children who fix all three daily meals on their own. What can one say, except that not only has "Taiwan forgotten the world, Taiwan has even forgotten itself."

Original Chinese below:









Sunday, March 18, 2007

Opposing Views on Ma Ying-jeou's Discretionary Fund Case

Opposing Views on Ma Ying-jeou's Discretionary Fund Case
United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 18, 2007

The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law
-- Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Comment: As Aristotle noted, the only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law. Conversely, any state in which men are unequal before the law, is ipso facto, an unstable state.

And so it is with the Taiwan region of China. Taiwan under today's Taiwan independence Green Terror is an unstable state. On today's Taiwan, there is no black and white, there is only blue and green (mei you hei bai, zi you lan luu), meaning that under Pan Green misrule, there is no right or wrong, there is only one's political coloration.

To wit, the trumped-up charge against Ma Ying-jeou for "embezzlement."

Ma Ying-jeou, after being indicted on trumped-up charges of embezzlement by Deep Green inquisitor Eric Chen

Now I am not a "Ma mi" (a fan of Ma Ying-jeou). I am the farthest thing from a "Ma mi." I have no trouble whatsoever believing any number of unflattering accusations leveled against Ma Ying-jeou, including the charge that he lacks the necessary spine to defend Pan Blue political values.

But embezzlement?

Please, spare me!

No, Ma Ying-jeou is Mr. Clean. The only reason he has been indicted by a Deep Green hatchet man, is that he is a deadly threat to continued Pan Green rule in 2008.

Public Prosecutor Eric Chen's laughably Orwellian poster reads: "Eric Chen, Conscience. A Solomonic legal judgment. We are willing to wait. We are willing to believe. A pro-democracy activist in his youth, non-partisan, concerned only with right and wrong, unconcerned with political coloration, from start to finish, a public prosecutor concerned only with justice"

Hou Kuan-ren, Eric Chen clone

Opposing Views on Ma Ying-jeou's Discretionary Fund Case

United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
March 18, 2007

Regarding the provision that "Half of the expenditures in one's Discretionary Fund account do not require receipts," the court's rulings in the Two Hsus case and the Ma Ying-jeou case are like night and day. Eric Chen of the High Court Public Prosecutor's Anti-corruption Center said that as long as one spends all the money, then one is in the clear. Although Chen Ming-chin of the Tainan Public Prosecutor's Office agreed that the Two Hsus had indeed spent all the money in their Discretionary Fund account, he also went to great lengths to point out that making use of this portion of the Discretionary Fund account did not fit the definition of "embezzlement and fraudulent acquisition of wealth," nor did it constitute criminal intent.

In other words, according to the above standard, even if the Two Hsus' Discretionary Fund case had been the same as Ma Ying-jeou's case, and the Two Hsus hadn't spent all the money in their accounts, they would still not be subject to indictment. This is the biggest difference in the legal opinions offered by the two prosecutors. If we examine the manner in which the "Half of the expenditures in one's Discretionary Fund account do not require receipts" clause has been observed in real life over the past 30 years, we should have no trouble determining which of the two opinions shows greater respect for reality and conforms more closely with the public's understanding of the law.

First, let's examine the provision that in order to be charged with embezzlement, one must "take advantage of opportunities provided by one's office to obtain funds through deceit," and in doing so cause the deceived party (in this case accounting personnel) to authorize the funds in question. In order to charge Ma Ying-jeou with this crime, it is necessary to prove not only that Ma Ying-jeou resorted to deceit, but also that accounting personnel were deceived.

In his bill of indictment, Public Prosecutor Hou Kuan-ren accused Ma Ying-jeou of "knowing perfectly well that he had used receipts to apply for special expenses at the beginning of the month, and had assured accounting personnel that in the coming days disbursements would be made. Based on such a belief, accounting personnel were willing to make advance payments at the beginning of the month." But in January 2004, the system was changed to payment in the middle of the month. That was when "Ma Ying-jeou informed accounting personnel that he had already made disbursements. Accounting personnel, based on such beliefs, authorized advance payments." This is what Hou Kuan-ren considers damning evidence of "deceit" on the part of Ma Ying-jeou and incontrovertible evidence that accounting personnel "were deceived."

In the Two Hsus case, which also involved payment of special expenses at the beginning of the month, Public Prosecutor Chen Ming-chin of the Tainan Public Prosecutor's Office solicited opinions and reports from the Ministry of Audit, the Executive Yuan, and the Legislative Yuan, as well as historical precedents.

He arrived at a very different opinion of this administrative procedure. He pointed out that "The defendant evinced no intent to deceive. The accounting personnel performed their duties in accordance with normal procedure and did nothing wrong. As far as this kind of administrative procedure is concerned, any effort to accuse the defendant of attempting to deceive accounting personnel, or of making false assurances to accounting personnel regarding future disbursements, will inevitably give people the mistaken impression that one is either fixated on an unwarranted conclusion or attempting to frame the accused."

According to the High Court Public Prosecutor, everyone has followed standard operating procedure for years, with the sole exception of one particular defendant who has "continuously taken advantage of the opportunities afforded by his official duties to practice deceit, forcing accounting personnel to make improper payments, resulting in criminal conduct." But Public Prosecutor Chen Ming-chin of the Tainan Public Prosecutor's Office believes that such accusations amount to being "fixated on an unwarranted conclusion or attempting to frame the accused." The Tainan Public Prosecutor and the High Court Public Prosecutor's views are diametrically opposed. So which view accords more closely with the facts? Perhaps we should consult administrative officials throughout the nation and their accounting departments.

Again, let's look at the question of criminal intent. Eric Chen and Hou Kuan-ren accused Ma Ying-jeou of "resorting to deceit and getting accounting personnel in trouble" by improperly authorizing funds. They also accused Ma Ying-jeou of "harboring clear criminal intent." As for Ma Ying-jeou's repeated declarations that "he believed the funds were private funds and not public funds," they were dismissed as denials of guilt without any credibility.

Public Prosecutor Chen Ming-chin of the Tainan Public Prosecutor's Office believes that "Historically speaking the Discretionary Fund has been interpreted loosely. Real world practice has established the administrator's Discretionary Fund as a form of supplemental income. As long as the official substitutes receipts for original certificates, the relevant auditing units have no further need for verification procedures. Since verification is already complete, there is no question of returning any balance. Based on this premise, whether the special expense allowance has become a disguised form of official salary, resulting in a situation in which an official may not recognize the special expense allowance as illegal, remains a question. The defendant's criminal intent is something the public prosecutor will find difficult to prove. Nor is the public prosecutor likely to have enough material evidence to prove that the Discretionary Fund is not supposed to be a form of supplemental income." Such a perspective is diametrically opposed to Hou Kuan-ren's.

Perhaps the question of criminal intent is going to be a case of "'Sez you, sez me." Given the same facts, different public prosecutors or judges may arrive at different conclusions. But Public Prosecutor Chen Ming-chin of the Tainan Public Prosecutor's Office said that the special expense controversy is obviously the result of a defect in the system. Based on the principle that laws must be clear and "nulla poena sine lege" (no penalty without a law), one cannot force the administrator applying for funds to assume all the risk. When there is little reason for suspicion, and the law is unclear, the accused must be given the benefit of the doubt. This surely was Chen Ming-chin's reasoning. High Court Public Prosecutor Eric Chen and Hou Kuan-ren may insist that there is abundant reason for suspicion, but if that truly is the case, why didn't they indict the so-called "Four Princes of the DPP" (the four political stars of the Pan Green camp, Su Tseng-chang, Frank Hsieh, Annette Lu, and Yu Hsi-kuen), based on the same set of standards? This is the most egregious defect in terms of due process and real world justice.

Did Ma Ying-jeou obtain special expenses by means of deceit? This seemingly simple question has elicited diametrically opposite answers from two public prosecutors.

Original Chinese below:



也 就是說,根據此一標準,即使二許的特別費在「不要單據的一半」,就像馬英九一樣被檢察官認定沒有花完,也不會被起訴。這才是兩地檢方在法律見解及適用上最 大的差異。參照三十年來「不要單據的一半特別費」之申領情形,比較這兩種不同的見解,當可看出何者更貼近事實,亦即何者較能獲得國民的法律感情的認同。


侯 寬仁檢察官在起訴書中指馬英九「主觀上明知月初以領據請領特別費,其實已向會計人員承諾來日會有支出之事實,而會計人員亦基於此種確信,始願於月初先行支 付」,而九十三年一月起改為月中領取,亦是「馬英九向會計人員表示已有支出事實,會計人員亦基於此種確信償其墊款」。這就是侯寬仁所認定的馬英九施行「詐 術」,及會計人員「受騙」而交付財物的犯罪要件。

同樣是月初具領的二許特別費案, 南檢陳明進檢察官在考察審計部、行政院以及立法院等各方的意見和報告,以及歷年的慣例後,對這樣的行政流程卻作出不同的評量,他指出:「……被告無任何積 極施用詐術之行為,會計人員依例行事,亦無任何陷於錯誤情事……針對此種行政運作模式,強行擬制為被告有向會計人員施用詐術,即向會計人員詐稱未來必將如 何使用的承諾,不免令人有牽強附會或羅織罪名之誤解。」

高檢將這種行之有年、眾人 皆遵照辦理的行政流程,謂為某一被告「連續利用職務上機會使用詐術,使會計人員陷於錯誤交付財物,而構成犯罪」;但南檢的陳明進檢察官卻認為,倘作此種指 控,不啻「牽強附會、羅織罪名」。南檢與高檢的觀點南轅北轍,何種見解較符合事實?恐怕要問問全國的首長,以及各單位的會計人員了。


南 檢陳明進檢察官對這個問題則認為:「……歷年沿革特別費採寬鬆認定……實務上幾已定性為首長實質薪資補貼,首長主觀上亦多認為係實質薪資補貼……只要機關 首長以領據代替原始憑證列報後,相關審計單位並不需要再進行實質核銷手續,如既已完成核銷,則應無事後繳回與否之問題……在此前提下,是否有成為變相補貼 首長薪資之一部分,而造成首長對此是否具有違法之認知,不無疑問……被告主觀犯意檢察官難以舉證,檢察官亦無足夠實務資料,可以證明特別費完全沒有實質補 貼之性質……。」此種觀點,又與侯寬仁的見解完全相反。

主觀犯意問題,恐怕是見仁 見智;同樣的案件事實,不同的檢察官或法官也許認定結果不同。但南檢陳明進檢察官說,關於特別費領用發生的爭議,顯見制度之瑕疵,本於「法明確性」和「罪 刑法定原則」,不能全然讓領用首長承擔風險。罪疑惟輕,法律不明確時則朝對被告有利的方向推闡,應當是南檢陳明進作此決定的考慮;而高檢陳瑞仁和侯寬仁要 「罪疑惟重」亦無不可,但他們竟然未將其手中四大天王等案以同步、同標準處理,則在程序正義及實質正義上兩皆有虧,是最大的汙點。