Saturday, December 10, 2005


Look around you, what do you see?
What do you really see?

Most people look, but do not see.
Most people hear, but do not listen.

Have you ever paused to see the lonely pink blossom bloom on a seemingly dead tree?
Have you ever slowed down to capture the flight of the humming bird?
Have you bent down to see at a dried up corpse and thought about what it meant?
Look around you, at the flowers, the trees, the grass and the weeds.
Look around you, at the wonderful unity of the elements which make up this world we live in.

And you shall see,
And then you shall see how simple everything is,
And how everything is teaching us.
floating boats
giant umbrella
springing to life
different kind of green
so green
look closely and see they have shied away
now they are like this...
lonely white sakura
lips of violet
raindrops on yellow
shooting buds
hairy red
after the rain
frizzly purple
blue illusion
sleepy lotus
white parachutes
red rose
airy purple
wild pink
sprinkles of red
bunch of yellow
bright trumpet
long exotic flower
red autumn collection
also available in orange
yellow wild flowers

Sunday, December 04, 2005

the day after

Yesterday midterm local elections took place in Taiwan. Up for graps were 22 various counties and cities around the island, the results of which is often seen as a litmus test of the government's popularity.

After the scandals, the mudslinging, the fanfare, fights, fireworks, and the whole culture of Taiwanese elections, the opposition Kuomingtang (Blues) garnered 15 districts, while the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (Greens) only got 6. A poor defeat, and humiliating loss.

Even the some of the staunch Greens strongholds in the south and east were lost. Is the governing party really doing so poorly? Is the government really so inept? Are people really disappointed by the undelivered elections promises? Mot sure.

But a few things are sure. The build-up of the Taiwanese media, whether broadcast or print, is predominantly biased towards the Blues...a legacy of the authoritarian era. And it is no secret the Blues, with its massive wealth is more than capable (and likely) to enage in vote-buying (though, it appears both sides are guilty of such a crime this time).

Shame though, that some of the honest, hard-working and popularist politicians are voted out of office... and in many places to be replaced by shady gangsterists and cronies of business and industry oligarchs. Perhaps the people are too gullible, ...or perhaps democracy here has reached that stage when the system becomes hijacked by the few in order to placate the many.

Editorial: The sloth weeps, the vandal laughs
Saturday, Dec 03, 2005,Page 8

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is in disarray. No other word can describe an organization that allowed Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to attend, without censure, a Moonies gathering days before an election to listen to that cult's founder prattle on about spirits visiting Earth. More likely, the spirits are here to chortle as some DPP icons fall flat on their faces after the most stultifying election campaign in memory.
But Lu's pilgrimage was innocuous compared with the release of Taichung Mayor Jason Hu's (胡志強) medical details at the hands of the DPP. This astonishing betrayal of professional ethics was probably illegal, and all associated with it should be punished to the limit of the law. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) himself made use of the incident by insinuating that Hu was physically unfit for the job -- a spurious argument, given that Hu has been one of the most entertaining candidates on offer.
The use of this tactic by Chen and other senior DPP figures points to the desperation of people who have run out of ideas and given up trying to inspire Taiwanese to build a better country.
The DPP has also failed to learn the lesson of the previous legislative contest: Local elections, though not without cross-strait significance, are fought and won on domestic issues and local connections. Instead, voters have been treated to the same tired spectacle of senior DPP politicians parachuting into local constituencies and warning of a cross-strait apocalypse if the pan-blue camp wins. Such tactics will be rewarded with a lower voter turnout.
The sobering reality is that the DPP holds less than 10 percent of all township-level administrations and less than 20 percent of city and county council seats. In these contests, the DPP was always going to "lose" the election in the face of an enduring Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presence and local clan and other non-aligned interests; what was important for the DPP was to make inroads, yet there has been little apparent enthusiasm for taking up this essential task.
The KMT has a chance of gaining county-level governments in Taipei and Ilan counties and Chiayi City. The DPP's grim challenge is to retain these seats, though Miaoli County offers a freak opportunity. The DPP's biggest concern should be failing to place its young guns into the next level of administrative influence and losing a new generation of capable national leaders. A balance of losses in Taipei County, Taichung City, Nantou County and Pingtung County would be disastrous for morale and trigger party bloodletting.
The KMT and Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) hope to celebrate tonight, especially given that the party was all but written off before the legislative elections. But Taiwanese have a lot to be concerned about, because Ma's charisma and charm have not translated into better governance in Taipei City, nor is he likely, with a good election result, to purge the inner sanctum of the KMT of its ill will toward this nation.
The People First Party could suffer losses in council seats, echoing its steep decline in the legislative elections. The Taiwan Solidarity Union may stand to gain council seats over disaffection with the DPP, but this will be little other than symbolic.
The result of this sad state of affairs will be the KMT claiming a new mandate for its agenda of legislative obstruction all the way up to the next presidential election. Such is Taiwanese democracy: The price of punishing the slothful is empowering the vandal.