Name Rectification in Taiwan

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A round-up of some articles and posts about the on-going controversy of renaming places and institutions in Taiwan (replacing "China" with "Taiwan") and Taiwanese continuing identity struggle:

"Status Quo Club" from Michael Turton's The View From Taiwan.

Taiwan statue removal fuels spat (BBC)

Name change restores history (Taiwan News Online) 

From Mutant Frog:

Taiwan rectifies names in new history textbook

More on rectification of names in Taiwan

 

My quick 2 cents: 

Get rid of most of the statues of Chiang Kai-Shek – the guy was a dictator.  Imagine if there were still Franco statues all over the place in Spain!  But keep some stuff around, just as a reminder of history – lest we ever forget – but rededicate and reconsecrate the space to the victims of the dictatorship. 

Name change is good.  Taiwan needs to develop it's own global brand as a country/region/place -whatever you want to call it – that is different from Mainland China. Even though Hong Kong and Macao are part of China again, they still maintain a very different brand image internationally.  Taiwan should definitely do the same with some solid international branding PR.  Look at how Ireland changed it's image from poor, backward, marginalized, to modern, young, vibrant, Celtic Tiger.  I am sick of Taiwan being confused with Thailand.  People have no clue what the hell "Chinese Taipei" is all about.  And "Made In Taiwan" is an outdated brand label for Taiwan.  We should portray a different image, more positive image and brand of our Beautiful Island – more than the land of cheap plastic trinkets and politicians that get into brawls. 

 

DefendThePress.org – VICTORY!

From an email sent by John Stauber of Defend the Press:

VICTORY!
Late tonight the US Army announced it has dropped its subpoena of Sarah Olson in the Ehren Watada court martial.

The news broke in an article in the Honolulu Advertiser.

This is a great victory for journalist Sarah Olson and our Defend the Press coalition. It is a testament to what one determined and courageous reporter can accomplish in the face of government intimidation. These subpoenas were quite simply an effort to harass journalists who are reporting on the growing anti-war sentiment among rank and file soldiers. It strikes a blow for press freedom and for free speech.

In a news release Sarah Olson made a statement which reads in part, "Personally, I am pleased that the Army no longer seeks my participation in their prosecution of Lieutenant Watada. Far more importantly, this should be seen as a victory for the rights of journalists in the U.S. to gather and disseminate news free from government intervention, and for the rights of individuals to express personal, political opinions to journalists without fear of retribution or censure. … Journalists are subpoenaed with an alarming frequency, and when they do not cooperate they are sometimes imprisoned. Videographer Josh Wolf has languished in federal prison for over 160 days, after refusing to give federal grand jury investigators his unpublished video out takes. It is clear that we must continue to demand that the separation between press and government be strong, and that the press be a platform for all perspectives, regardless of their popularity with the current administration."

"While I am glad to see the subpoena against me in this court-martial dismissed," Olson adds, "I still worry about the US military using this tactic to chill dissenting voices and whistle blowers from coming forward in the future. We need to be vigilant at this critical time in our country's history in order to push back against these tactics."

On Thursday, February 1st, the Defend the Press coalition and Sarah Olson will hold a news conference in Washington, DC, at The National Press Club to celebrate this victory and address the ongoing fight for press freedom.

The Center for Media and Democracy founded the Defend the Press coalition on January 24, 2007. Among its supporters are notable journalists, authors and free speech activists including Phil Donahue, producer and commentator; Sydney Schanberg, author; Linda K. Foley, president, The Newspaper Guild-CWA; Larry Gross, director, School of Communication, Annenberg School, USC; Tony Kushner, playwright; Robert McChesney, founder, Free Press; Geneva Overholser, professor, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Gloria Steinem, publisher, journalist; Jerry Zremski, journalist and president, National Press Club.

a bit of history

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I found out the other day that my building, in NYC on Broadway between Franklin and Leonard, is a historical landmark. It housed one of the portrait studios of Matthew Brady, a famous American Civil War-era photographer, from 1853-1860, which means that the building itself must be at least 150 years old.

A self portrait of Matthew Brady circa 1875:

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An etching of what the interior of my building looked like during Brady’s day:

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Some more links about Brady and 359 Broadway:

http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/brady/timeline/timeli2.htm

http://www.daguerre.org/resource/texts/bradygal.html

http://www.daguerre.org/resource/dagnews/jul1-95.html

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE2D8123AF933A25756C0A964958260