News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Killing time at the forum:

I wrote:

I caught up with this debate a bit late so I've got some catching up to do. I'll start with yojimbo's previous post.

>Please answer me. What is the history of USA all about?<
What does this question even mean?

>I simply ask you what exactly is US history's all about? What kind of ethnic History can you gather form a bunch of "Migrants"[ Germany, Franch, Italy...etc }?<
What on earth does this reply mean? Now I'm even more confused...

>How old is USA anyway?<
You already know the answer. We all do, so why ask the question?

>US's history is about 300 years old<
It is? The US declared independence in 1776. The Mayflower got to America in 1620. Do the math. What does 300 years have to do with anything. Like most loud patriots, when pushed, it turns out you don't know your history. Because, of course, you don't care about history. Loud patriots seldom, if ever, do.

>Don't presume that I know nothing about USA history.<
You first ask an unintelligible question, then give an unintelligible reply, and then inform us you know how old the USA is but get the number wrong. You seem to require a very low standard for being knowledgeable about US history. I presume you hold the same low standard for your knowledge of Chinese history.

>What curriculum are you talking about?<
>Looting? The famous Indian Massacre? Slavery[the true account]?<
This must be the curriculum for Chinese and American history? Looting? 5000 years of looting is part and parcel of Chinese history. All countries looted in the old days. Most still do. If you really knew history you would know this. Indian Massacre? True. Both non-Indians and Indians massacred Indians. Both non-Indians and Indians massacred non-Indians. How about the Tiananmen Massacre? How about the massacres of the Taiping revolution? How about the massacres that accompanied every Chinese dynastic change? All countries with lengthy histories have massacres. Slavery? China had 5000 years of institutionalized slavery. China also had 2000 years of institutionalized cannibalism. Taiwan had slavery too. And cannibalism too. And Taiwan had white slaves as well as Chinese slaves in the 19th century.

>White man still claim that they discovered America...but how on earth did they discover something which has already been discovered? Don't tell me that each state have a different version of such claims....<
Who is White man? A friend of yours? Why don't you learn history instead of just talking about it. Look up Kennebec Man and who found him and why several native Indian activists and the US Department of the Interior want his discovery suppressed. Who knows who first got to America, but it wasn't the white man, nor the Chinese, nor the American Indians. It was probably either Polynesians or Negritos or the same people who first populated Australia 50,000 years ago.

Some Chinese patriots claim that their countrymen discovered Taiwan..."but how on earth did they discover something which has already been discovered?" That's a beautiful line. Unfortunately, the aboriginal peoples were here long before the Chinese. Or perhaps you believe that Taiwan's aborigines are guests of the Chinese? So Taiwan belongs to the aborigines according to your logic (not according to mine: it belongs to whoever lives here or moves here peacefully, not to those who propose to invade by force).

>Your flaw lies in the attempt to compare Chinese History to the US's.<
No. That's your flaw. You don't know Chinese history or US history.

>You dig?<
I dig baby, but you need to keep digging into your own history and that of the US before you start pontificating.

Other dude wrote:

Almost all Whites claimed that they discover something.
They claimed to have discovered Singapore...and etc.

You don't even need a patroit say those things...just get a Whiteman...any.

What about Tienanmen incident?
I thought it's already discuss somewhere in the forum?

Is "massacre" a common cliche to be put in anything alien to your kind. So, what about Taiping revolution? Care to start an new thread of discussion?
How about the massacres that accompanied every Chinese dynastic change?

You mean civil war? I think your "double-talking" is getting too obvious..

Slavery was practised in China? You mean the during Biblical time? So is the birth of acupuncture. But US abolish that practises not too long ago...there is huge time difference..civilisation mature through time and space...apparently US[ Base on US history ] is moving a bit too slow. Does it not reflect the mental maturity of general?

Don't get me wrong...I'm not a racist. I'm only quoting facts..base on observation. And worried have every right to deny.

I wrote the following regrettably uncivil reply:

Yojimbo: You keep asking questions which indicate that you're not serious about getting answers. You don't know Chinese history as evidenced by your glib replies to my and other posts. I would guess that your unhappiness about the change in Taiwan's curriculum is caused by primarily by your fear of people who are educated. You don't know much at all about China's history nor US history. What you think you know comes from reading newspapers, not books. I imagine you're just as intimidated by educated people in China and what really intimidates you is people who can think for themselves. This is why you don't like democracy. This is why you don't like the Taiwanese doing what they want. You have no respect for others. You don't even like people. You prefer nations. Essentially, you are a gangster.

Another dude:

Aren't you the Cappuccino guy from the Atime's letters column? I would suggest anyone who plans to reply to this guy would first read his non-sense letters there first.

I wrote:

>>Every angle you look at it, culturally, linguistically and religously, Francophones and Englophones in Canada are much more different than Chinese Mainlanders and Taiwanese.<<

You sure about this? 46% of mainlanders don't speak the national language of putonghua, which is why China's national government has recently yet again banned the use of Cantonese and Shanghainese on radio and television. South of Taipei County, many people speak two or three languages, with Mandarin trailing badly in second or third place. Since I only speak Mandarin, in addition to English, this doesn't benefit me at all. Religiously, the Taiwanese are substantially different from the Chinese since they not only were not cut off from their religious roots for forty years, and thus developed a myriad cults and preserved many superstitions that mainlanders would find ridiculous, but also because there is a substantial minority of Christians here as well. Culturally, the Taiwanese are no more like mainlanders than Americans are like Brits. Oil and water. They quite often don't get along and look down on each other. Mainlanders are much more aggressive, decisive, and courageous. But also crude and obsessed with money to a degree no longer pervasive in Taiwan. Taiwanese are more docile, sensitive, knowledgeable, mild-mannered, and cultured.

>>If Quebec could be an integral part of east Canada, there is no reason why Taiwan cannon be an integral part of China. I cannot see how you are trying to defend Taiwan is not part of China while crying out Quebec is part of Canada.<<

Quebec's voters chose twice to stay in the federation, Rene Levesque et al notwithstanding. If Taiwan's voters decide to unite with China, then so be it. But only if they vote for it. I can see advantages (and disadvantages) to uniting with China, but only when it becomes a stable democracy.

>>Haven't you conveniently forgotten other people living in Quebec, such as the Natives? Since when did they vote to join the Confederate?<<

Haven't you forgotten the Tibetans, the Dai, the Miao, etc.? When did they vote to join China? When did the Cantonese vote to join China? They didn't. Like most of China's people, they were conquered. As is the case with almost all countries historically. It's not good nor bad. It's human nature. It's part of all of our ancestor's past.

The point is: Taiwan is a democracy owned by its voters. China is a dictatorship which owns its citizens. The people of Taiwan can and will choose their own curriculum in the manner they want. Someday, hopefully soon, the citizens of China will be able to do the same.

I wrote again:

>>Says who? It's my knowledge that 70% of the Han Chinese speak dialects that are based on Mandarin.<<

I guess I need to know what you mean by a dialect based on Mandarin? Cantonese, Shanghainese, Fukkienese? Or one of the Szechuan or Yunnanese dialects? All of these 'dialects' are as unintelligible to the Mandarin speaker as the Latin based 'dialects' of French and German are to the English speaker.

I couldn't find the original article through google, but located a blog carrying it (or something like it) here:

Scroll down the page a bit and you'll find it.

>>The Cantonese? The Cantonese are much Chinese as the Beijingers, Shanghaiese and other Chinese.<<

I agree. I didn't dispute this. And American Indians and the descendants of American slaves are Americans too. My point is that historically speaking they were once separate people. Just like the original language of Hong Kong was neither Cantonese nor Mandarin and yet the local patriots fight over which of these two non-native languages should be paramount. (

I get the feeling few Chinese take an interest in their own nation's history. Most Americans take little interest in their nation's history either for that matter. Same goes for every other country I'm sure. This is one of the reasons I find this debate rather odd. TKT is the only one of us who takes the issues seriously. I haven't followed the Taiwan curriculum issue either. I'm just as ignorant of the issues as the rest of you. But when some of you don't seem to know much about your own nation's history and yet pretend that national history curriculums are critically important to student development, you'll forgive me if I doubt your sincerity. And you'll forgive me if I again doubt your preference for, or understanding of, democracy. Some of you seem to think that democracy is just a scam or a hustle, just another unethical way to get around what the public wants in the old-fashioned communist or dynastic imperial way.

But if you're genuinely pro-democracy, then you respect how people vote. You don't try to make far-fetched excuses by finding other nations who have (or only appear to have) failed to operate in a democratic manner in the past. If you're pro-democracy for China, then you should be pro-democracy for Taiwan (What's more important to you? people as individuals, or people as a concept?). Thus of course I agree the people of Quebec have the right to vote themselves into independence. Just as I agree that North Carolina should have had the right to leave the US in 1831 and the Southern Confederacy should have been able to become independent of the US in 1861. It's not democracy for me when it's convenient and fiat rule for you. It's democracy for everyone. Again, once China becomes a democracy, then perhaps Taiwan will vote to unite with China. It's not up to you and me. It's up to the people of Taiwan.

I wrote yet again:

>>Not by voting, but by fighting a final war. If they win, they can have independence. If mainland wins, there will be reunification. That's the deal.<<

So you're totalitarian. A gangster. No problem. But in future lets not play any games and pretend you have any genuine sympathy for democracy. Face the facts. You're not democratic in spirit.

Well, the problem with being a gangster is that those who live by the sword tend to die by the sword. As you know it won't be a war between Taiwan and China. It never has been. China has been trying to get into Taiwan since the 1950s and has failed because the US has kept it out. If there is a war, it will be with Taiwan, Japan, and the US on one side against China on the other. I suggest you read up on your military before you get your hopes up. Try David Shambaugh's "Modernizing China's Military". Those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it. And some of you guys sure don't know your history. The place that really needs educational curriculum reform is China, gentlemen. As you already suspect, I'm sure.

And yet again I wrote:

Yojimbo: Presumptuous? Perhaps. But it's hard to get your attention. Now you're serious. Good. Finally. You usually prefer to be flippant.

>>Since you mention about Taiping Rebellion, please tell me who are those involved in the rebellion. Was it a religious thing, what religion? Where have all them flee to?<<

With all due respect, I'm not your office-boy. I've already demonstrated my devotion to history and my desire to make an earnest argument for what I think. It's time for you to do some legwork and assemble some arguments of your own that are apposite to this thread. I'm happy to debate with you as long as you're sincere. If you make a good argument, I'll be happy to concede. But straw white-man ad hominen arguments don't carry any water. As you already know.

jzhang wrote:

Have I touched your nerves by saying it bluntly how this issue is going to be resolved if Taiwan refuses reunification? Also I have no idea what a "totalitarian" is supposed to be, because it's in my opinion a non-existing word and not applicable in this context. I'm insulted you call me a gangster. Taiwan separatists and their foreign aides are gangsters instead. Also I'm not interested in democracy. I'm only interested in China.

I am certain US won't defend Taiwan, because Taiwan has little strategic influence and the US won't be willing to pay the price China is willing to pay. Neither is Japan. It's all logic. The current peace is only maintained by the hope of peaceful reunification and the love for Taiwan compatriots (which is not returned btw). Not by the US or any other foreign interference. Without this hope, as the Cross straits future is starting to get grimmer, the prospect of war will become bigger. So take away the hope, and you get war. If Taiwan wins, it becomes independent. If mainland wins, there will be reunification. And I have no doubt what the outcome would be.

I wrote:

Actually I'm touched by your honesty...haha... If you're not interested in democracy (glad to hear you admit it!) and you don't like the word totalitarian or gangster, how would you characterize yourself? Let me guess... A patriot! I.e.: someone willing to sacrifice the lives of his people for his country because he believes real flesh and blood is less important than the sacred concept of nationhood. Very impressive. You don't like people. You don't trust them. So naturally you don't like democracy. Nor do you like education.

For those of you who approve of democracy and education this, in my opinion, is the type of person who constitutes 95% of loud Chinese patriots. Fortunately most Chinese people have better things to do with their time than be patriotic during peacetime.

Good luck jzhang: someday I think you will agree that democracy is far more important than nationalism, racism, and ethnic chauvenism. The world is a good place. You're naive to think that it is not.

I wrote:

Yojimbo: you already tried and failed to get me to do your homework for you. And then you bungle history again. You reach back to Nam because you're too embarrassed to look at US success in Iraq. And by the way, I ain't American.

And you need to lose this inferiority complex. Take a deep breath. Try to feel good about yourself. There's nothing wrong with your skin tone, man. I don't care about your ethnicity. Half my family is black. My wife is Chinese.

Do I want to be a cyber-thug? No yojimbo. You do.

I'm leaving this thread. You guys should stop worrying about China's future. China's going to do just fine. And stop worrying about what white people think. It doesn't matter.

Good luck to you all.

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