Fri, Mar 22, 2002 - Page 12 News List


Shan's criticism way off

Paul Shan's commentary ("Stop the new lottery before it's too late," March 16, page 8) on the lottery raised several disturbing issues. Shan regurgitates a common myth about Taiwan's "hardworking and thrifty society" ruined by industrialization and urbanization. The reality is that people in Taiwan work hard if they have to, retire early when possible and save because of a lack of welfare, low interest rates and an uncertain investment climate.

Shan bemoans the greed of tour operators for reducing tourism. In my experience Taiwan's tourism industry is about as corrupt as any other, and I have been ripped off less here than in Africa, China or India. Tourists avoid Taiwan because it is dull and dirty, not because operators are greedy.

Shan's wild claims -- "The whole society is in a state of chaos" -- can only be met with derision. Anybody who was here during the go-go days of the 1980s can only marvel about how much progress Taiwan has made.

In the early days of the lottery in the US people did dumb things too, but then things settled down. Anarchy failed to break out there; indeed, by many measures, things are improving.

Finally, where does Shan acquire the moral authority to spout such nonsense? The Catholic Church, like the KMT used to, suppresses dissent and discourages thought. It pinned a medal on Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and cut deals with Adolph Hitler. Catholic clerics were most recently indicted in Rwanda for their role in genocide there, and in the US recent articles have exposed the way the church protected pedophiles. Put your own house in order first, Shan.

Oh, and the church runs gambling games in many countries, including the US.

Methinks it is not immorality, but competition, that Shan fears.

Michael Turton


Renaming idea a good one

The Taipei Times' proposal to rename the CKS Memorial Hall as "Democracy Memorial Hall" ("Enshrine democracy, not presidents," Mar. 17, page 8)deserves our support.

In my opinion "Democracy Hall," would be even better. Democracy is something we should cherish forever rather than something in the past for us to remember.

By the same token, CKS International Airport may be renamed as the "Taipei Taoyuan International Airport" or simply the "Taoyuan Airport."

The people in Taiwan worship Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) as the nation's father for no apparent reason. When the ROC was established in 1911 under his leadership, Taiwan was ruled by Japan. History is vague about what Sun did for Taiwan except that he visited it. Is it also time to change "Chung-shan" to a name more pertinent to Taiwan?

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

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