Saturday, August 22, 2009

HEHE...Moving The Blog to the WordPress

hehe...moving the blog to the wordpress. Always nice to try new stuff. Will see how it turns out. lol

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

lol...WTF, Microsoft. (Got the link from Michael's blog)

OMFG, they actually have to make a special method for it?!?!?! LMAO.

Microsoft, you are a genius. (extreme sarcasm).

Maybe you should put more effort in fixing your XBOX 360 instead of making special functions for China.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

:-o Very Nice One from Mr. Keating

A very nicely written article from Mr. Keating.

It has a certain Zen type of feeling.. ( that why the url starts with Zen? No idea). Anyway, I think it is a very nice one, worth a read...

The Loyal Lapdog

I simply cannot believe it...this guy simply uses every chance to help putting makeups on China no matter what.

The title:
Taiwan’s Major Threat Is Nature, Not China, President Ma Says.
WHAT!! In so many way that is just so wrong. It is like I got stabbed by a knife, therefore, knives are more dangerous than guns. How about just say both natural disaster and China are challenges and threat Taiwan has to face?

The armed forces will have disaster prevention and rescue as their main job.

That just sounds so wrong...the armed forces main job cannot be just disaster prevention and rescue operation. Their main job should include repelling external national threats, etc. Now he tries to limit our national military mission? Maybe they don't need MND (Minister of National Defense) anymore, all military will take order from an organization similar to the US FEMA.

I don't like to say it...but what a fool...

This is from the English one with the foreign reporters...There is nothing new, he still tried to lie or deny his way through everything. I am still trying to digest the craps he said in the Mandarin one with domestic reporters.

Some Coincidence

I am not a superstitious person...but sometimes it is just amusing when something coincidental happens:

1 From 海兒's post reply in South News.

2005年他趁著連戰出國時先下手為強的宣佈參選黨主席並順利地以高票當選,結果在2007年就因為「市長特別費弊案」被迫辭去黨主席。2008年他以 765萬高票當選總統時,我當時隱約也感覺到他很可能重蹈覆轍,結果現在一年三個月不到的時間就真的搞得眾人唾罵,權位岌岌可危。

The example describes how Ma took a fall every time he became KMT chairman. After he succeed Lien and become KMT chairman, he has to step down very soon due to Taipei Mayor special budget scandal.

This time again, after he grabbed KMT chairman position, this unfortunate event caused a storm in his political career. A lot of people, even foreign reporters, think Ma's political career looks very grim. I agree with all logical reason he has lost all his political credibility. But I also wonder...Do Taiwanese truly wake up this time? And the root of the problem is actually not just Ma, but all the KMT's twisted values that he stands for...I wonder if Taiwanese see it clearly.

2. From 海國右衛門's post.
今天的直機 CODE 竟然是!!!

NAVY 546 !!!

(Click the image to see the full picture and the number 546 clearly)

One of the US navy's MH-53E Sea Dragon Helicopters' that landed in Taiwan to help the rescue mission has a code number NAVY 546... During 2008 presidential election, approximately 5460000 voted for DPP's Mr. Hsieh, and 7650000 voted for KMT's Ma. So the code coincidentally approximated the first 3 digits of the number 546 萬 (萬 is 10000, a common way to short hand the number in Taiwan) of votes that go to Mr. Hsieh.

This is first time that any US military force enter Taiwan's domain in...30 years maybe, and one of the helicopter has this number.

Yea, this is just a stupid coincidence, but what a coincidence.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Random Thought on the Rescue Operations and The Defense Paper by Taiwan Defense Working Group

It is quite coincidental that a defense strategy paper titled Deter, Defend, Repel, Partner was published just a few weeks before this natural disaster. Perhaps because of closeness of their occurrence, it prompts me to think them together...and I think there are some concepts that can be examined or proven with the currently on going relief and rescuing efforts.

I hope those that are really concerned about Taiwan's national defense can examine this paper and the rescuing operations...I think there are actually quite a few things that can be learned from examining them together.

I am no expert, so I might be wrong. But a few things just come into my mind, and I will just blurt them out here. Since this disaster scenario is only closely related to the Ground Domain talked about in the paper, I am only considering the ground domain, not much air and maritime domain. That does not mean air and maritime domains (and perhaps a real good deterrent forces) are not important to Taiwan.

The Limitation of Armor Vehicles and the Importance of Helicopters
I think this time, as with previous earth quake and typhoon disasters, helicopters prove they are indispensable in Taiwan's security. As can be seen in the news, because of Taiwan rough terrain close to the mountain and river area, and because of the twisted landscape after disasters, helicopters are always the first ones that can go near those area and offer some assistance.

Although armor vehicles, especially the amphibious ones, also helped out greatly, their operational area are limited to the plain area. Also, a lot of times it seems their movement are also limited by the narrow streets etc. After the bridges etc are destroyed, I wonder how much use they have. Especially Humvee vehicles this time seem quite useless. This limitation could be due to the lack of mobilization of combat engineers. They have the ability to establish temporary bridges and clear out obstacles etc. Although armor vehicles have their use, I imagine during war time, if the armor divisions are to operate effectively, there have to be enough combat engineers, and they have to work very closely together. Because it can be expected that the bridges, rails, highways and roads to be destroyed during war. Also, those that advocated for mobile land based anti-ship missiles trucks might want to re-examine the scenario as well. (I am not saying it is a wrong concept, but would those destructions of bridges, road and rail effect their operations etc...those are the questions)

The problems with the helicopters are: 1. they are more dangerous (accidents etc) 2. they do not work as well in bad weather. These 2 disadvantages could be remedied a little, although not completely. Modern helicopter carriers such as Black Hawk are specially designed to protect its pilots and passenger during crashes. The helicopters are also quite robust. Also, helicopters have night vision system etc integrated that can help a little during bad weather or night flight. The most important is probably also the pilot training. They should be train to fly during bad weather and night time....although I am not sure if it is feasible to do that now or if they are already doing that, but certainly if Taiwanese helicopters can fly safely and efficiently in all weathers, it would be a big advantages during war and during rescue operations.

Another important thing is...perhaps people, especially those in remote villages, have to be informed on how to establish emergency helicopter landing zone...Because there was a news report that one village was able to have all their survivor transported out by helicopters after they establish a landing zone for the helicopters to land. Without a landing zone, the helicopters can only drop provisions...and the drop might destroy some provisions in the process. By establishing landing zone, provisions can be brought down safely, and those in need can be transported away.

Also, Taiwan needs more heavy lifting helicopters that can lift armors and small bulldozers...

Another thing is of course, the importance of air order for helicopters to carry out their orders effectively, airspace has to be secured. The importance of air forces and SAM cannot be under estimated.

Localization, Communications, Militia, Special Forces and Guerrilla Warfare
As can be seen, the central government performed very poorly and slowly comparing to the previous disaster effort. Local government, although reacted faster, did not have authority to mobilize the military. The troops stationed near the disaster area, ironically, can not react because they did not receive orders. This results in the lack of military resources committed in the rescue operation in the first few days.

If a state of emergency was declared, the local commanders can mobilize the troops under his/her command and offer assistance to the local government without the direct order from MND. But since Ma did not declare a state of emergency, that is not possible.

This shows the advantage of a degree of decentralization and localization in ground domain. In another is vital that each area is well equipped to help itself to a degree, in case the communication to the central command is disrupted. This time, the central government react poorly simply because of incompetence, but during war, the central government might react poorly because the communication are cut or because the command centers got destroyed.

Also can be shown is the value of volunteers...Military are essential in rescue operations, but volunteers from different organizations also help out big time. This might also prove the value of independent and self sufficient militia, as mentioned in the report. Highly trained militia might be as effective as regular military forces in urban and mountain warfare. Of course, it might be a nightmare and the worst scenario to see Taiwan becomes a battle field of guerrilla war, but better be prepared than sorry. Also, even without full scale combat within the towns and cities, one can expect damages from bombing and enemy infiltration etc. In this scenario militia might also be indispensable as well.

As mentioned in the report, and as can be seen in this disaster, it is important to maintain good communication and battle field awareness. It seems Ma's government is really slow at receiving disaster reports etc. They have to rely on news, and even call-in program to locate the disaster areas. There is nothing wrong with getting information from all the different channels, but first of all...a lot of those that call into the TV station because no one answered their calls for many hrs etc, and second thing is during war, how do you know if all these channels have valid information? It is also known that even the online community updates their disaster reports much faster than the government (with Twitter and Google Earth, from what I can see)....this is really ridiculous. The report recommend a multi layered communication capabilities and communications redundancy etc. It is probably just that Ma government's screws are all loose, but certainly communication capabilities in Taiwan can be improved and upgraded.

Special forces also prove their use this time, although perhaps due to Ma government's slowness, a lot of special force units are not even used. Especially in the mountain area, where roads are mostly destroyed, only special forces can operate extensively in those area. (helicopters have to come and go, and usually the pilots cannot see everything up there). They seem to be crucial in scouting and communication.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I am quite confused...i am not sure why. It seems Ma government did not mobilize all the possible assets in the rescue operations.


The last paragraph:
從昨天新聞報導中,我很驚訝在災情第四天才投入六千兵力。六千人就像是『螞蟻撼樹』一樣,無力呀!我實在不 清楚為何昨天災民call in說隔壁營區阿兵哥在唱軍歌,看到報紙有人投書救災部隊不出來,改待命等長官視察。如果真的苦民所苦,現今三軍統帥為何不像九二一時下令北中部軍團往 南,前進各災區,發揮二十五萬軍隊的力量迅速幫助災民清理及重建家園呢? 

Basically the author (a retired military officer) is very surprised that only 6,000 military personnels are mobilized in the rescuing effort, and that is on the 4th day of the disaster...there are approximately 25,0000 military personnels available, and during 921, much more people were mobilized...6,000 is simply not enough to cover the whole disaster areas.

From the news we can see that all the soldiers that went into the rescue operations are doing their best, some even sacrificed their lives during the process (helicopters crashes). :( But it is obvious they were stretched to their limits but still cannot perform the operation fast enough. It is obvious more people and equipments is required. And there are more...but Ma did not use them. Why???

Also, he mentioned:

Basically, he said during his military career, whenever there was a typhoon warning, they will receive one command: treat rescue operation the same as battle, if there are disasters, all units should mobilize for rescue operations immediately.

Comparing the past and present, I am sure everyone notice how much slower and how much less the government and the military reacted. Even now, a lot of possible useful military assets are still unused...

This is really strange...Also, combining this to this news, it is even stranger. The US state department said they have enough resource in east Asia, and if required, they are willing to help out. But Ma government so far does not ask for it. However, it seems there are still a lot of problems, a lot of people that need to be rescued and a lot of towns etc that need assistance. Why doesn't the government mobilize more of its assets, and at the same time also does not ask for foreign aid?

Just weird and

UPDATE: eTaiwan news has a nice editorial on this matter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Other News...

The rescue and relieve operations continue...

There are many tragedies and sad stories...but also some stories of bravery, humanity, survival and hope...From earth quakes to typhoons, sometimes it seems Taiwan is a place of trial...Fortunately, many Taiwanese offered their help and assisstance to those in need.

It seems there are still a lot of work to be done...such as clean up and reconstructions. It might also be the time to review how we can cope with major rainfall of Typhoons, and prevent this type of natural disasters...

But other than the disaster, there are other news:

Sika Taiwan office raided in probe into faulty adhesives
I certainly hope this is an actually investigation instead of just yet another way for Ma and his team to push the responsibilities to others.

TSMC set to invest in green sector
This might be a very good move by TSMC. Also for Taiwan, in the long term, development of alternative (green) energy source and less reliance on fossil fuel is a good thing in many ways.

This one is very interesting...and has a plausible proposal...

Monday, August 10, 2009


Some Typhoon Morakat disaster donation information from DPP's website:

Organization listed on Liberty Times:

Typhoon Morakat (UPDATE)

Worst flood disaster in southern Taiwan in 50 years.

Right now rescue and delivering aids operations are still on going. I wish those in central and southern Taiwan will be alright....

It is one of the worst in recent history...Right now it seems the amount of rain fall is abnormally high, but still there are quite a lot of lessons that can be learned about flood prevention and rescue operations...I hope those experts within the government and society can learn from it.

Also, a lot of bridges etc collapse again...the long time construction quality problems that have plagued Taiwan for so long once again surface...something has to be done about it. Given Taiwan's constant Typhoon and earth quakes, every structures in Taiwan should be made more sturdy than the structures in other places...

Unfortunately Taiwan has to cope with Earth quakes and typhoons. Taiwan has typhoon every year, and without typhoons Taiwan will have constant water shortage,...but for quite a long time it seems every time there is a major typhoon, some disasters happen. Taiwan should always be prepared for the worst...

Update: BillyPan mapped out the disasters using google map...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kaohsiung Success is A Good Lesson

I think we can learn a lot about the successful transformation of Kaohsiung in the past decade...

Claudia Jean has a nice blog on the story of the preparation of World Games in Kaohsiung.

This quote is quite interesting:
Prof. Lin pointed out the two main reasons which make high quality public construction work in Taiwan difficult. One is corruption where people’s representatives and civil servants at various government levels take bribes or kickbacks. Another is actually the law that is meant to prevent corruption.
Connecting this with what is happening in seems that there are many interesting issues that can be studied. Why is it that under KMT, there are a lot of poor construction and severe pollutions? Is it impossible to improve Taiwan? Kaohsiung showed that it is possible. It is possible to have beautiful cities in Taiwan. It is possible to clean up a stinky river. It is possible to break through and change the corrupted policies that have always plagued Taiwan. Starting from Frank Hsie, the consecutive DPP mayors of Kouhsiung continuously contribute to the improvement, and follow trough their policies, no matter the pressure. And it is not just the politicians, but a lot of engineers and officials sacrificed their reputation and life on the great task, on what they believe is right.

Comparing this to Taipei, which has a lot more is real good contrast. Of course, Kouhsiung still has room for improvement, but it has taken the first most difficult step. Its success shows that...yes, with the right attitude, heart and leadership, it is possible in Taiwan.

UPDATE: This article is also very indicates the similar problems that were mentioned by Prof. Lin:

Continueous Problem with Neihu MRT

There are quite a lot of news on the Neihu MRT lines. The problem seems to be much larger than previously anticipated. For the past month, almost everyday there are problems (LINK). Yesterday apparently the computer crashed and the service is suspended for 4 hrs. This is quite unprecedented in Taiwan's history. Not only that, the incompatible systems between Neihu and the older Muzha line seems to cause Muzha lines to go nuts as well (LINK). In summary, the new system is causing more trouble instead of providing more services.

IMO, it is very likely that Neihu will become the next Maokong. Its service has to be suspended until it is fully fixed. However, it actually looks like the problems is quite huge and fundamental, not some small bugs that can be fixed easily. From the beginning it is ill designed. The new Neihu system uses wireless communication in open environment. (the same Bombardier system is supposed to be used in closed, less complicated environment like an airport. I do not know why Bombardier agreed to do this contract because I think professionally they shouldn't. But seriously though I never like Bombardier as a company, because I heard a lot bad news from that company, and from my understanding their internal management is quite lousy as well...but this blog is about Taiwan, not Bombardier so I will stop here and focus on Taipei's problem). The line has a more than 90 degree turn toward the airport, which indirectly causing the train to be very narrow. Even if they fix the fundamental network, computer and electrical problems, the whole system is limited in capacity and comfort. Plus...the cart seems to LEAK WATER :-o. It is really a very bad construction.

Also, 謝長廷 and the DPP now point to the relations between the construction company 工信工程 and Ma ( as a possible cause of all these fiasco. The newest development also includes 新生高架橋...once again this maintenance project is given to 工信工程. Will keep an eye on this for later development.

It is quite clear though, that Ma and KMT messed up in Taipei big time.

Why Are We Funding This?

The recent fiasco regarding the Hong Kong film removal in Melbourne International Film Festival is quite interesting:

This quote from Michael should be heeded by all artists in Taiwan:
I hope Taiwanese artists and others involved in collaboration with Chinese observe that their work will always be nothing more than a pawn in Beijing's political strategies.

This is actually a very interesting phenomenon in Taiwan that exists for quite a long time. In the movie and entertainment industries especially, the government often funds and supports projects in places like Hong Kong with more money than for Taiwan's own project.

This is quite weird. It is not like those films really benefits Taiwan's images. If the government does not want to help out Taiwan's own movie industries, that is fine. But they actually fund other countries' projects that has nothing to do with Taiwan. It is like the US government giving money to Honda and Toyota.

The full review on this type of illogical policies is warranted IMO. Instead of wasting money on some Hong Kong films that no body watches, they should give more indirect supports to Taiwan's film makers...etc. After the success of Cap No. 7, it is clear more support for Taiwan's film makers is not illogical or irrational.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Interesting report (recommendation) from Project 2049 Institute:
Deter, Defend, Repel And Partner

I got this link from Mr. Turton blog.

Some of the ideas in it was mentioned else where before, but this one seems to be able to describe those ideas with a more understandable terms, I think. Many concepts and recommendations in it is also quite interesting....worth a read.

UPDATE: Taipei Times has more reporting on this report.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Long Term Problems

I am just pondering...

After looking at Ma's performance for the past 400 or so days as president, IMO, there is little hope of Taiwan actually improving much over the next few years. Taiwan will be lucky just to stay alive. Sure, the economy will start to recover eventually in the next few years, but the fundamental economic problem will not be solved. Problems in other areas will also surface. If Ma gets re-elected, it will be a total nightmare, but that might actually become a reality.

Also, looking at what Ma did in Taipei you wonder what kind of long lasting negative effects Ma will leave in Taiwan in the next few years. If Taiwan is lucky, and Ma doesn't get re-elected, the next President and his/her team will still face some huge challenges. Some already exist but for sure cannot be solved by Ma, some I suspect Ma will leave behind:

Judiciary System Reform
As shown by the Chen case, the Judiciary system has some huge problems both in its system and people. The system, from my understanding, is resemblance to German Nazi's system. It gives too much power to the judge and prosecutors etc. I am no expert, but I know a lot of it does not make any sense, especially if you comparing it with the courts in the US or UK. A lot of the people under the system is also problematic. The prosecutors leaking confidential information to the media, judges mocking the accused, unreasonable/unnecessary detention, too much KMT influence inside are all big problems.

The reform I imagine will take a long time and will face very stiff opposition, but it has to start somewhere now. First, the system has to be changed gradually, and the law education system has to be adjusted.

National Defense
Recently a lot of news seem to show some deterioration of the military both in hardware and software. The maintenance, training and the morale seem to be down. Combining this with Ma's current policy, it is not hard to imagine in the next few years the military would be in a poor state. The next government I imagine will face huge challenge in this area, and will need to pay a lot of attention to it.

Also, as the recent Japanese defense white paper mentioned, Taiwan's military has no counter to China's short range ballistic missiles etc. This problems will need to be addressed sooner or later...and better sooner than later.

Some small improvement has been made during Chen's time but really not even near enough. IMO in a lot of area the education system is still tightly controlled by the KMT.

I cannot think of any thing solid on this one, and I doubt there are a lot of people out there that can actually propose a good economic strategy etc. The only people that are fully confident in their economic strategy are those KMT BShitters that keep saying invest in China. I do not know where their "confidence" come from, but I know those kind of policies are wrong, as been shown in the past decade, after Taiwan starts to pour money into China.

Basically, I think a lot of pan green people know what is not good, but they are not sure of what is good, regarding this topic. For sure, there are a few things that need to be achieved:
  • Lower Unemployment Rate: We have to be careful about what kind of unemployment, because different unemployment means different things. For sure though the unemployment rate is rising and right now it is ridiculously high (for Taiwan) comparing to neighboring countries like Singapore, Japan and South Korea etc. The most problematic unemployment is IMO Structural Unemployment. Actually this part is also related to the education problem.
  • Attracting Investment into Taiwan: How to retain and encourage people inside and outside Taiwan to invest in Taiwan is a big question. Right now there are still huge tendency for people to throw their money into China instead of invest in Taiwan. The fundamental cause has to be found, and policy that encourage investment in Taiwan has to be formed.

Those problems might even be underestimations...because there is a chance that Ma will do something catastrophic to Taiwan's economy in the next few years (signing ECFA might, for example). Given the lousy jobs he did when he was a mayor...this is actually a likely scenario.

In any case...even if Ma will not get re-elected, I think the next government will have a real hot potato in its hand.