Saturday, December 19, 2009

6.4 Earthquake in Taiwan

Thank you for scaring everybody who wanted to know more news about the earthquake in Taiwan, Google News. Take a look at this screen shot when searching for news on Taiwan this morning:

News about earthquake, great! Oh wait, collapsed building on the side- "Oh no, looks real bad, hope everyone's okay."

Then you get into the article and says it was not that bad. The picture is actually from the 1999 earthquake.

In more pressing news, interesting comments from Taichung Mayor Jason Hu.
Hu described the upcoming protests as “typhoons,” while promising not to treat the protesters as a “mob.”

“It’d be best if typhoons never hit, but we should be prepared for the worst situation. However, we will not treat the protesters as a mob,” Hu said yesterday in Taichung when asked to comment on the planned protests by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Let's set some things straight. Typhoons are never welcome. Doesn't matter what time of the year, where it is at, typhoons do damage to people, buildings, nature, you name it. On the other hand, a part of democracy is the right to freedom of speech, protest, and assembly. Especially when you feel the need to let your voice be heard, a protest is called for.

This just goes to show how many in the KMT continue to have lack of regard for the true meaning of democracy and human rights. More baffling comments from Taipei KMT Mayor, Hau Lung-bin, being quoted as saying that Taiwan is a "region," and not a "country" or "nation."

Furthermore, Jason Hu makes the pledge that he will take "full responsibility" for what happens during the protests (if violence occurs, police brutality, etc.). I still don't understand, as it is probably a Taiwanese political custom, why politicians continue to stick their neck out for things they cannot control. This is why I continue to see DPP Chairwoman, Tsai Ing-wen, as forward looking and "thinking out of the box." Her comment on this subject was very practical, and much more like what a "smart" politician would do:

Tsai went on to say that rather than focusing on whether physical clashes would occur during the demonstration, more attention should be focused on whether the government hears what the demonstrators want to say.
“It’s the Chinese Nationalist Party’s [KMT] mentality that those who take part in a demonstration in which physical clashes occur are rioters, and rioters should not go on the streets — this is just wrong logic,” she said. “Violence does happen in rallies from time to time, but random and isolated incidents of violence should never be used as a reason to restrict people’s freedom of expression.”
There will always be bad apples that can spoil the whole, but it shouldn't be that way. And Tsai Ing-wen sees this.

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