Taiwan Gold

This just kicks ass, literally: SFGate: Taiwan wins first golds in taekwondo.

Taiwan won its first gold medal Thursday in taekwondo, then had to wait only a few minutes more for another.

Shih Hsin Chen won her 49-kilogram match for the breakthrough, aware as the seconds counted down that a lot was at stake.

I know that this is our first gold medal and I’m very proud of it,” said Chen, who beat Yanelis Yuliet Labrada of Cuba. “It means a lot to me and my family.”

About 15 minutes later, Mu Yen Chu won another gold medal in the men’s 58-kilogram division.

After Chu beat Oscar Francisco Salazar of Mexico, he walked around the mat displaying the special white flag that Taiwan has used at the Olympics since 1980 under an IOC resolution.

As a concession to China, Taiwan participates at the Olympics under the name “Chinese Taipei.” China claims the self-ruled island is part of its territory and has sought to bar its international exposure. The sides split amid civil war in 1949.

Of course the last two sentences serve to illustrate how unfairly Taiwan is treated in the Olympics and elsewhere. It seems incredibly silly, and strange, and awful, that Taiwan’s gold medal winners are the only atheletes in the entire Olympics that are not allowed to wave their own country’s flag. I wonder how this will play out in 2008?

The Poverty President

Poverty, uninsured rates rose in 2003, U.S. says

The nation’s poverty rate increased to 12.5 percent in 2003 from 12.1 percent in 2002, the Census Bureau said. The number of Americans in poverty increased 1.3 million, reaching 35.9 million.

Among children, the poverty rate increased to 17.6 percent from 16.7 percent, with 12.9 million children in poverty.

Seems like it’s gotten proportionally worse for women workers:

Annual median earnings of men working full-time were unchanged at $40,668, while the earnings of women working full-time fell 0.6 percent to $30,724, the first decline since 1995.

Factor in inflation, and this is even more grim. Not only has the current administration done irreparable damage to our diplomatic relations and rolled back our rights and freedoms, our standard of living is actually decreasing too. Four more years!

Singapore’s Lee Caves

S’pore can’t back Taiwan if it provokes conflict – AUG 23, 2004

Singapore’s Lee said this after massive strong-arming from PRC goons after his visit to Taiwan:

‘If a war breaks out across the straits, we will be forced to choose between the two sides. As a friend of both sides, any decision will be painful. But if the conflict is provoked by Taiwan, then Singapore cannot support Taiwan,’ he said during his National Day Rally speech.

This is yet another politician parroting the PRC position. At the same time, Lee is afraid of condemning China’s threats of aggression and war.

Few leaders here are willing to stand up to China’s bullying tactics. Time and time again these leaders continually sacrifice Taiwan’s rights (and in the process, their own rights) at the altar of trade, saying anything the PRC likes just to gain special favors for doing business with them. War with Taiwan is not in the PRC‘s best interests, and repeating these fantastic claims only serves to further the personal interests of the demagogue in question at Taiwan’s expense.

Since He Brought It Up…

I wasn’t going to say anything, but since Bob Dole decided to go partisan and falsely criticize fellow veterans, let’s take a quick look at his own war record as well: TedEllis.net — Dole’s War Record

It was in the first of these night patrols that Dole received the wound for which he was awarded his first Purple Heart. He ruefully confesses in his 1988 autobiography that his wound was self-inflicted: “As we approached the enemy, there was a brief exchange of gunfire. I took a grenade in hand, pulled the pin, and tossed it in the direction of the farmhouse. It wasn’t a very good pitch (remember, I was used to catching passes, not throwing them). In the darkness, the grenade must have struck a tree and bounced off. It exploded nearby, sending a sliver of metal into my leg — the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart.” The wound was so minor that he led another patrol two nights later. He does not mention that others were also injured by his misguided throw — which Woodruff’s account attributes to an enemy machine gun.

Full disclosure: The author of that article from The Nation was my late, great uncle Robert, who served with Dole in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during WWII. It reveals many more distortions regarding Dole’s WWII record, and is worth a read. Robert Ellis also authored an excellent book regarding his service during WWII called See Naples and Die. His son, my cousin Ted Ellis hosts the page containing the article on Dole’s war record.