Crowded media outlets today….

The Robert Scheer fog continues to spread across Left publications, now appearing at Alternet. It’s been fascinating to track its movement. Ironically, it is a good example of how progressives never discuss Taiwan, except as a Cold War stalking horse for the third world war. You’d never know from reading progressive media that Taiwan even had a democracy….fortunately a few of us have decided to leave comments where it appears. Maybe some of the damage can be ameliorated…..the Only Redhead talks about the piece here.

The NYTimes has a long study of the Taiwan spy case that came down the pike last year. Speaking of overseas affairs, Taiwan News has an excellent interview with the new director of overseas Chinese affairs. And Munnin has an interesting blogpost on anti-Korean sentiment in Taiwan. Taiwan has rejected China’s move to change its Olympic name. China’s top negotiator says sea links between China and Taiwan will be discussed in the fall.

A pan of the foothills around my house. At right is northern Taichung, with the Tz Chi hospital abuildin.’ At the other end are the ridges that extend into eastern Fengyuan city.

Closer to home, another university professor is apparently in trouble over political activities (and some of you wonder why I left my university). The prof, Ho De-fen, is apparently the same Ho De-fen who was one of Shih Ming-te’s faux protest dupes, who acted as a spokesman for the campaign. She is threatening to sue Nanhua University of Foguangshan. The article doesn’t give the real reason Ho is being canned, but it stinks of politics — if Taiwan universities fired profs who didn’t publish, three-fourths of the professors of the technology institutes would be out of a job. Scott Sommers summarizes the issues on his education-focused blog.

Ma has been in the news a recently, yesterday and today. Yesterday it was calling on the public to be patient as the island holds a collective wake for its stock market wealth (more and more Taiwan is looking just like another typical stock market pundit pump and dump) as stocks slumped below 7000 to a 20 month low. Ma said, in apparent contradiction to the KMT’s campaign theme that the economy stunk and only the KMT could fix it, that the island’s fundamentals were sound and that “we Taiwanese” should not be intimidated by hardships. When Ma says “we Taiwanese” he means “we Chinese” and when he talks about economic issues, there’s only one cure: more PRC. Sure enough, in today’s Taipei Times, there’s Ma saying we ought to move our high tech chip fabs to China — because the US has moved some of that there. Not only is Ma making completely illogical emotional appeals, note again the clear KMT pattern — economic distress produces calls from the KMT to move more resources to China. Pardon my skepticism, but if moving $200 billion in Taiwan’s seed corn to China has not produced 8% annual growth here, why should moving our chip fabs there do that? And why stop there? Let’s move all our industry to China — then we can grow 15% annually!

Speaking of growth, the Academia Sinica has upped its estimate of our annual growth here to 4.55%. Taiwan sizzled at 6% in 1Q 2008, but is expected to grow 4.53 percent in the second quarter, 4.03 percent in the third quarter, and 3.71 percent in the fourth quarter. Thank god the KMT saved us from the perils of 6% growth. As many of us noted before the election, the KMT’s economic thinking remains mired in solutions 40 years out of date — and worse, the party appears to be floundering in response to the many problems it faces. The DPP has largely been keeping a low profile, apparently on the assumption that if given rope, the KMT will hang itself.

Taiwan’s flag carrier, China Airlines, has a new chairman. The airline is losing money as costs rise and the Chairman hinted in a letter to his employees that the airline’s survival is threatened. Speaking of flights, we lost another set of Chinese tourists, three femmes who vanished in Banciao. You can hardly blame them for wanting to flee Banciao…

Poagao has a great piece on photography on his blog. I do a lot of street photos and have the same problem — I hesitate to take pictures of humans. And worse, when I do, they are often stereotyped shots that I just hate. Poagao is a wonderful photographer, BTW, don’t forget to check out the photo links on his blog.

A-gu, always a font of information, notes that China may be wooing Taiwan’s Blue commentators. As if they needed to…. Jerome has a very useful summary of the media meetup with DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen. Most everyone who has interacted with her has said she’d make a great Chairman. Sponge Bear has a good reading of Johnny Neihu’s piece on the Senkakus.

Islaformosa raises the issue of whether “inferior” manufacture in China is really just a cover story for poor design by western firms. Great insight. Talking Taiwanese on language abandonment.