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Greetings from Taiwan

Hi Friends. I'm still in Taiwan. It has been a very busy trip, and I want to thank the fabulous DP mod squad for keeping things up around here while I've been away. I lived in Taiwan for two years, from 2003 - 2005. I didn't know a thing about this place before I came, but it is a place that I have grown to love very much. The people are kind and friendly, and I dare say it is freer than the US in many ways. (See pictures of the free market below). No airport searches, no taking shoes off before boarding planes. On my flight here, just before I got on the plane in San Francisco -- just as I was about to go down the tunnel to -- AFTER I'd already been searched inside out and upside down, shoes off and everything -- I got stopped again and had my bags pawed through.

The days here have been full visiting friends and family, so I haven't had much time to write, though I have seen so much. I thought I'd start by sharing some photos, and filling in the details when I get more time.

Taiwan is a modern country. It is the third largest buyer of US debt, behind China (Taiwan is NOT China! - more on that later) and Japan. Here are some photos that show what a frugal country this is:

Here is a traditional, free market in Taiwan. This is just about 5 minutes from my mother-in-law's house, on the outskirts of Taipei city:

Would you eat this meat? There is no inspector nor license for this meat vendor:

Anyone can come here, set up shop, and start selling:

As a child, my wife's family went through a period of financial hardship. She sold vegetables at this market that her family grew in vacant lots. Now she's finishing up her PhD in Neuroscience at Boston University, and working in a joint Harvard-MIT lab.

Here are some of the delicious, exotic, and cheap delicacies on sale in the market:

Lotus root:

Lychee fruit - yum!

Here's what the area looks like outside, on the main road. It is part of Western Civilization.

Dumplings anyone? Cheap and good!

There are a lot of scooters in Taiwan, something you see throughout Asia:

Our neighborhood is part of the old part of Taipei. But there is a more modern part as well, about 30 minutes away by bus. In fact, the tallest building in the world is in Taiwan - the Taipei 101. The new tallest building was slated for Dubai, but I believe that construction has been suspended. It is really quite a beautiful sight.

Today I'm going to the debut of Windows 7 at Computex Taipei, one of the biggest computer / electronics shows in the world!



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Where's Michael?

I hope Michael and his family are safe and return home soon, safely. I'm hoping, at this point, no news is good news.

Nice pictures Michael. What part of Mexico is China in?

public schools, you know...

Michael

We need your return.

Greetings from Saipan


Michael, if you haven't got firm reservations back to Boston, the maybe you can stopover in Saipan. It's not that far from you.

I'll buy you a Mai Tai and we can sit by the Philippine Sea and wait for the Green Flash.

Cheers,
zp

What do you do in Saipan? I

What do you do in Saipan? I used to live in Guam back in the mid 90's. I miss it a little....

Been to Saipan too. Saipan used to be a fun little trip and then the Japan economy gutted the place as well as other reasons. How's it there now?

I lived in taiwan for over a year

And started reading up on Ron Paul and signed up on this site while I was there.

Mike

Back in 1964 I was with the 3rd Marine Division from Okinawa when we attacked Taiwan, Operation, "Back Pack". The aggressors (bad guys) were the 1st Marine Brigade from Hawaii.

The first night ashore I remember sleeping in a dried out river bed on the smooth stones just with a poncho over me like the rest of my headquarters artillery battery.

We never made it into the cities, just the countryside. We had two Chinese soldiers attached to our battery. I recall seeing them warning young Chinese men to keep their distance from us, they didn't, and I seen a Chinese Sergeant whipping one them who was on his knees in a small shallow stream with his pistol lanyard for disobeying.

We only saw poor farmers who kept giving us the, "Gung Ho, thumbs up" from the WW II Marine Raider Carlson era. Most everybody we saw had stained red teeth and gums from chewing beetle nuts. All the rice paddies were drained when we were there, and there were huge mounds of onions in some of them. I was killed in action there twice, twice by jets from the 1st Marine Brigade. You don't even see it coming.

My wife's girlfriend is from Taiwan, and they go frequently. When her husband met her there in the '60's, he said they had like a local Judge, Jury and Executioner (one person) in the area he was in. On a more recent visit he said in the restaurants, they charge you extra for the food you don't eat on your plate. True ?

Enjoy your trip, I'll be going back to my old stomping grounds September, Okinawa, Japan.

Wow, nice pics

Sounds like a fun trip. I'm sure you'll tell us about all the newest gadgets!

RP R3VOLution

101

Hi Michael,

the pictures are great! It must be an impressive experience to stand in front of the tallest buildung of the world..........
Take care and have fun in Asia!

THANKS! Great Pictures, Hope your mother in law is OK...

Praying for freedom's revival here.
------
Libera me, let the truth break, what my fears make--Leslie Phillips

What's next after End the Fed? Repeal the XVI and XVII Amendments!

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Thanks, Michael

This is exactly why I love Ecuador. I felt the same things over there. A LOT of freedom and opportunity to do good. The people are lovely and the country is lovely. Have a great time.

Healthnut4freedom

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6

Healthnut4freedom

The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight. Prov 12:19,22

I lived in Taiwan

on and off for about 4 years, In fact I was there around the same time you were, Michael. I live in Hsinchu mostly, then moved to Taipei at the end.

Ahhh, KTVs were so much fun. So was being able to drink after 2 am, and downing a beer at any mom-and-pop noodle shop, or picking up a six at a 7-11...can't do that here in Pennsyltucky. You could watch movies on the cheap VCD format. I still don't think they have VCDs in the US yet.

Yes, they sure seem to have more freedoms there than we do here anymore. Seems like so many things are basically illegal, but nothing is enforced except to 2 weeks out of the year...the week before Chinese New Year, and the week of Chinese New year, the police stnd out on the cornoers making it look like they're actually working...the rest of the time they're taking bribes from the mafia to look the other way.

It's a bit like that in Saipan too


I can go into any convenience store, get a can of Progresso soup, a six pack of beer and a bottle of Johnnie Walker. No laws about the sales of liquor here, no stamps or pieces of paper of the top. The Philippine rum, Tanduay, is really good.

Did you play bass in Cram School?

If so old friend send me an email and let me know how you are doing.
You should visit Jason in Bethlehem, he's still in the same house playin keys.

Yep, I was in Cramschool

But I played rhythm guitar in that band..they already had a really good bass player.

Boy, would I love to shop til I drop there!

Great pix Michael....
For a mode of selling that different cultures have been doing for centuries, we in this country have to be regulated til we have nothing left but America's department store - Walmart - for all our needs!

These old-time vendors in most countries of the world, offer the freshest of food that they usually raise themselves and have seemingly little if any problems with government regulations. I remember the Lower East Side in NYC and in my travel, the open air markets of Paris, etc. Boy do I miss that.........sighhhhhh!

Have a good trip!

"Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom." Patrick Henry

"Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom." Patrick Henry

Beautiful

Thanks Michael, nice pictures.. the market reminds me of one here called the Green Dragon...A good place to meet people & buy fresh food...
Have a great vacation..Send our reguards
you-no

Thanks

Makes me homesick!

Computex Taipai, that is a real treat.

Hurry home Pa...

the family is fighting again.

A world view on Freedom

Hi everyone, I am orginally from Taiwan, however my background is a bit complicated. I am 29 and I moved from Taiwan when I was only 10 and have since lived for 8 years in Thailand, and 10 years in the United States. I have also lived in Toronto, Indonesia and now I am in my new home in Sydney, Australia. I would like to share a little about what I think of freedom after all my travels. To me, the United States and the US Constitution is an idea and not a geographical location. The ideas of freedom and liberty are within the minds of the people that live there. I arrived in the US in 1999 for school with high hopes for a better future only to witness the 9/11 "attacks" and the subsequent attack on Iraq. Not to mention the torture carried out in the name of "spreading democracy". I have since been obssessed with finding the truth of the American Empire and what I have found has led me to leave the United States in early 2009. I am a history and philosophy fanatic so I saw the signs and tactics that propagandists use and decided it was time to move on before the inevitable arrived. The videos online of people being molested by border patrol or poilcemen are disturbing, but not surprising in a society in decline. Hitler had the secret police and the Gestapo to whip the citizens into compliance through force. If people have to spell out for you that the militarization of the police in the US is a bad thing, you have a bit more waking up and thinking to do. I was a staunch supporter of Dr. Paul at my last job in the US only to be laughed at by my Californian friends. They think I am a Republican but I told them I am neither and that I do not swear allegiance to any country or government. The only advice I can offer the frustrated Americans who can no longer stand what's happening in the US is to leave. Leave and take your ideas of freedom and talent elsewhere where they are protected. That's what I have done. I research and move to countries where I believe I have more freedom and liberty. If I ever see the government I am under ever infringe on those rights, I research and move on. In this day and age, it is simple to do but many people would cite that as difficult. Many will cite that either family or the thought of leaving their own country is hard, then I must tell them that they have not yet realized how precious true freedom is. I leave you with a few quotes from men of history.

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs, that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. - Machiavelli

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. - F.A. Hayek

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists. - Ernest Hemmingway...Notes on the Next War: A Serious Topical Letter...1935

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. - Oscar Wilde

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. - Samuel Johnson

I enjoyed your post but I

I enjoyed your post but I have to disagree. You can run but you cannot hide. I'm an American living in Japan and I see people's privacy being slowly stripped away here, too.

In Japan, the government likes to test ideas on the "gaijin" community first then spring it on the Japanese citizens later. Make the foreigners entering the country do it then make the citizens do it. Year by year it gets worse and worse. All for the "safety" of the country. Those scary freedom fighters, I mean terrorists, might choose pacifist Japan to attack next--yeah right!

What folks need to understand is that this is a global problem and we need to stand together. There are more of us than there are of them. We need to draw a line together and fight together if needed.

If they want globalization then fine, we'll kick their ass as a global community to see how they like it.

Actually, you gave me an idea for a web site and an organization... thanks!

Partially true

I would rather watch the revolution on television than from my bedroom window...the central bank factions are fighting each other right now, but I would bet on the Far East to win this time...I went to an area where freedom has been eroded "less"...if it changes in the future, I have no problem leaving...I hope you don't wait to leave until the revolution or hyperinflation is televised...because it won't be...

have a nice trip :)

have a nice trip :)

Taiwan was not a socialist country

Taiwan did not start out as a socialist country. In fact, socialism is very not Chinese. But social medical care is the "trendy" things to do, so the gov't of Taiwan followed that way also, even though no party in Taiwan is really socialist. The result was devastating! Tax rate were raised, the socialized medicine bankrupted already! Just a few years because of people's abuse! Now they are trying to maintain the system and raise the co-pay so to reduce abuses of the medical system. It proves one thing, socialize medicine doesn't work anywhere!

Access to people's bodies are very easy under the pretext of

government 'free' health care.

Salutations

Thank you for making such time to treat us - we won't decline more ! Happy Anniversary in advance to a very special couple.

photoshopwiz's picture

! Great pics !

~
We miss you around here, Michael-san. Hope your trip is good and really hope your mother-in-law is feeling better.

Will be highly interesting to hear more about the perspective you've gained while traveling and visiting with family, where some of the best wisdom is gained. ;-)

It's not an issue of race,

It's not an issue of race, it's an issue of ideology. As Michael is pointing out, Taiwan is a FREE country, unlike China where civil and political liberties are heavily restricted.

If China were to take over Taiwan, you'd see a full scale war because free people do not often let themselves be oppressed easily. But American's are letting themselves be oppressed, though? Well, let me use an analogy.

If you put a frog in a pot of hot or boiling water it will jump straight out (China taking over Taiwan with force). However, if you put the frog into normal temperature water then slowly heat it up to boiling and beyond, the frog will not notice the gradual adjustment and will not attempt to escape, it will simply just cook and die (What we are seeing in the USA, the gradual degradation of rights and liberties).

True

You are right that the issue shouldn't be about ethnicity. We are all the same Chinese. However, some people and politicians in Taiwan MAKES it into an issue of ethnicity! (Not race, it's never a question of race). They divided the people of Taiwan just because they came from different places originally! People from Fukien province 400 years ago fight against people from Guangdong and other places (Hokka), and then they fight against the people from Mainland China 60 years ago (the Out of Province people). Even the people from two different town of Fukien fight against each other (from Zhang Zhou and Chuang Zhou). Now, the politicians turns into Taiwanese vs. Chinese! How ridiculous! It should be Freedom against Communism! But it is the same kind of tricks that politicians use here in the US as well, divide and conquer and they stay in power!

wonderful...

I can still feel free vicarioulsy!

Thanks Michael.