One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. For example, some argue that one-party autocracies might not always do stuff Thomas Friedman agrees with. But this risk can easily be avoided if the one party is a reasonably enlightened group of people, such as China, and/or Thomas Friedman. Only through this one party system can we impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward into a thousand-year empire of benevolent, iron fisted enlightenment.
Come to think of it, Iowahawk sounds like Sino-Imperialist Bev Chu over on Lew Rockwell's site.
(Only difference being Iowahawk has tongue planted firmly in cheek, while Bev is dead serious.)
Just to flesh out the story a bit: Chiu Yi tries his damnedest to get a former president's secret service protection revoked -- a president who was shot at in 2004 and physically assaulted in 2008.
But suddenly Chui Yi gets his rug snatched, and he appears on national TV. Cries about it like a little girl. Oh, and he won't step foot out of the house now without police equipped with riot shields and helmets and batons and everything.
TAIPEI -- Legislators belonging to Taiwan's Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) were incensed yesterday when they learned that the Mongolian government is proceeding with oil exploration plans without consent from the Republic of China.
"We can't let the Mongolians get away with this," one unnamed lawmaker was quoted as saying. "Mongolia, as defined by our constitution, is part of the R.O.C.'s sovereign territory. Any oil found there, and all the revenues thereof, rightfully belongs to us."
"We demand that Presi... -- er, make that MISTER -- Ma immediately recalls our ambassador from Ulan Bator to let them know we mean business. Mongolia needs to be reminded that its territory is historically, geographically and legally a part of the R.O.C."
"Right now, I don't think any of us are ruling out war as a last resort, by Guang Gong's beard!" the veteran legislator added.
To the dismay of his party colleagues, Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou has so far remained curiously silent about the crisis. However, sources close to the former Tiaoyutai warrior have informed the public that Ma has given the go-ahead for a fleet of American-built F-16s to escort a single passenger airliner into Mongolian airspace on Wednesday.
While there, the Taiwanese commuter craft is expected to carry a number of "One China" activists, who will express their displeasure at Mongolian splittism with the traditional shouting of slogans and throwing of water bottles.
Note to the reader: While it kind of kills the point of satire to actually SAY it's satire, I don't want some poor unsuspecting websurfer to get the false impression that any of this really happened. So yes, it's satire. None of it happened. Or at least, it didn't happen EXACTLY like this . . .
Nonetheless, it serves to illustrate the larger point that it'd be a whole lot easier to sympathize with the Republic of China's claims over the Senkaku Islands if they weren't just another item on Taiwan's absurd laundry list of territorial pretensions.
He may be a polonium-poisoning, vote-rigging, opposition-jailing despot...but Vlad the Cad DOES know how to pick 'em. For the State Duma, I mean.
First off, meet Alina Kabayeva, 24-year old former gymnast and newly-elected legislator from the United Russia Party. She enjoys quiet, candle-lit dinners, long walks on the beach, and rolling around naked on synthetic animal fur.
Next up, let's give another warm welcome to Alina's distinguished parlimentary colleague, Svetlana Khorkina. A seven time Olympic medal-winning gymnast, cerebral Svetlana enjoys reading, debating new laws, and, from the looks of things, the occasional wardrobe malfunction.
Tyranny may indeed be the ugliest form of government...but Putin, the old dog, is sure doing his level best to persuade us otherwise!
Best Taiwanese photo of the year, IMHO. And the kicker is that someone told me the shot was taken when KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou was having a serious discussion with reporters about Sino-Taiwanese relations.
(Because nothing, but nothing says, "Gravitas," to voters more than a politician talking foreign policy...in his bright red Santa suit.)
If this is true, then someone obviously needs to be packed off to sensitivity re-education camp. Because as John Derbyshire points out, the new laugh is **GROSSLY OFFENSIVE** to members of the Hha-ha ethnic minority.
"Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two
weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons
are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion
to the Prophet.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our
weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again."
And a hit is a hit, or at least that's what I tell myself. Still, it's a strange feeling when you spend 4, 5, 6 hours writing up an entry on Taiwanese politics, only to find most of your visitors are dropping by so they can view posts like this.
No use fighting it, I guess. Everybody loves a squirrel in a uniform.
During every Olympics, the host country is permitted to exhibit local spectator sports as a way of adding color to the Games. John Derbyshire at the National Review tries to imagine what uniquely Chinese events will be held in 2008. The best three:
Tibetan Snow Shooting. In their bid for a future Winter Olympics, the
Communists will demonstrate their skills at picking off Tibetan
refugees attempting to cross snow-covered Himalayan passes into Nepal. (This
event may be scrapped because of a dispute with the Olympic authorities over the
use of telescopic sights and snow
Competitors here have to devise an agricultural policy so irrational that 30
million peasants starve to death simultaneously. Traditionally the winning
contestant has his portrait hung in a prominent position overlooking Tiananmen
Square, but for Olympic purposes a medal award will be substituted.
Chest thumping. In this rather advanced event, competitors
attempt to intimidate each other by shooting down satellites, threatening to
nuke major cities, asserting ancient claims to other people’s countries, and
setting up missile installations aimed at long-independent provinces.
Kind of a fun Chinese translation story from Venezuela. A few of the details aren't quite right (I think part of the problem had to do with Simplified vs. Traditional script), but otherwise, yes, professional knowledge DOES count for SOMETHING.
Ah. Just for the record, Chiang was re-elected president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) by the National Assembly in 1954, 1960, 1966 and 1972.
So...exactly who were his opponents in these elections? What independent political parties did they belong to? Were the people of Taiwan ever consulted on these votes? And what was the fate of unfriendly media figures during these election cycles?
If there are serious answers to those questions, then I'll admit Chiang fought for democracy. Otherwise, I'll keep in mind the example of Julius Caesar, who claimed to be savior of the republic, yet quickly accepted the post of dictator-for-life.
Here's something else I didn't know:
Chiang was supreme commander of the victorious Allied forces during WWII.
Critics and supporters alike can all agree that Chiang's conception and execution of Operation Overlord was masterful. Simply masterful.
While all the years spent in darkness may have left her hyper-sensitive to sunlight, the acuity of the rest of her senses has become exponentially magnified. No one suspects that in her alter-ego she battles supervillains by night, in a never-ending quest for truth, justice, and the Iranian Way.
(Unfortunately, in close combat, she's occasionally put at somewhat of a disadvantage by the fact that her crime-fighting costume lacks any openings for...well, her ARMS, for one thing.)
Maybe if I'm a good boy, Santa will deliver a sweet little miss in a big, red sack to my house, too, this Christmas.
UPDATE (Apr 25/07): The Iranian Dresstapo threatens to banish women from Tehran for 5 years for wearing "inappropriate" clothing. Fortunately, our lady in red has absolutely NOTHING to worry about.
UPDATE (Jul 6/09): Spanish scientists develop ways for people to use echolocation. The training only takes 2 hours a day for several weeks. (Although one firefighter, er, throws hot water over the idea of using the technique in fires, where the ambient sound can be 90 dB.)
<p>Spanish scientists develop echo-location in humans</p>
[Dr. Juan Antonio Martinez] recommends trying with the typical "sh" sound used to make
someone be quiet. Moving a pen in front of the mouth can be noticed
straightaway. This is a similar phenomenon to that when travelling in a car with
the windows down, which makes it possible to "hear" gaps in the verge of the
The next level is to learn how to master the "palate clicks". To make sure
echoes from the tongue clicks are properly interpreted, the researchers are
working with a laser pointer, which shows the part of an object at which the
sound should be aimed.
CAVEAT: Currently, the public only has Mr. Li's word to go on that his gas bomb actually contained what he said it contained. There's some corroboration in the fact that some committee members left the room coughing and tearing up, but it's somewhat odd that there are no reports of any vomiting.
This guy should be locked up immediately. His defense for abusing the Panda is "I just wanted to touch it. I was so dizzy from the beer. I don't remember much." This kind of thing always starts with Pandas but before you know it this sick puppy will be hanging around the Petting Zoo with sugarcubes preying on innocent pigs and donkeys.
Pope Benedict XVI has probably considered the theological consequences of abolishing Limbo, but has he stopped to give a moment's thought about what this could mean for Dungeons and Dragons campaigns? Maybe he should!