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  William Vocke    Special to The China Post
Shortly after graduation from Taiwan University in 1954, I was drafted as a translator-interpreter at the then General Headquarters of the Chinese Army to discharge my ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) duty.
When television was popularized in Japan in the late 1950s, the print media felt so threatened that they called the TV set an "idiot box" and warned the new electronic media would turn all 100 million Japanese into idiots. Japan's population was around 100 million then, and a famous social critic, Soichi Oyake, coined the catch phrase "one hundred million all idiotized" (一億白痴化) in 1957. Of course, his prediction wasn't borne out, but the quality of news reporting in Japan as well as across the world has gone down.
So it's going to be a battle of "Little Red Pepper" against "Water Spinach" come next Jan. 16. Hung Hsiu-chu, Little Red Pepper, will face-off with Water Spinach, Tsai Ing-wen, in the presidential election.
Former President Chen Shui-bian, now enjoying a respite from 20 years behind bars for corruption and graft on medical parole, has finally succeeded in getting eye for an eye vengeance on President Ma Ying-jeou. His defense lawyer, Cheng Wen-lung, maneuvered a resolution at the Taipei City Clean Government Committee recommending that Ma be referred to the Agency Against Corruption of the Ministry of Justice for investigation in connection with his alleged illegal profiting of the Farglory Development Corporation by commissioning the development of the Taipei Dome.
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Su Chi coined a convenient and useful name for a modus vivendi between Taiwan and China in April 2000 when he was about to step down as chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC). He was appointed to that office by President Lee Teng-hui, who would retire on May 20 and Chen Shui-bian would take over to launch the first Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration. The name Su created was the "1992 Consensus."
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China has been known as a state of comity (禮儀之邦) for millennia. Comity means friendly, social atmosphere. China used to be a country of social harmony. It isn't a state of comity any more.
It was a long time ago when Masaru Ogawa, editor of the Japan Times for eight years till 1977, told me of his encounter with U.S. ambassador in Tokyo Edwin O. Reischauer. Ogawa, a Nisei born in Los Angeles, told Reischauer, the son born in Tokyo of Presbyterian educational missionary parents, he didn't believe the United States would come to the rescue of Japan if the Soviets attacked Japan with atomic bombs, though mutual defense is obligated in the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.
It's a little more than seven months ago that the Ministry of National Defense published in its organ, Strufight (奮鬥月刊:Struggle Monthly), an article on the Soul of a Soldier (軍人魂). It is the name of a dagger Chiang Kai-shek, superintendent of the Whampoa Military Academy in Canton, gave to every cadet on graduation as a present. The dagger is also known as the Dagger for Suicide.
It was in the summer of 1960. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was coming to Taipei for a two-day state visit on June 18. A couple of days before his arrival, I was invited to a press tour of Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung.
A popular proverb whose origin is attributed to Joseph Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy, is "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
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