People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) epitomizes the “banality of evil,” veteran activist Shih Ming-te (施明德) said yesterday, criticizing the presumptive presidential candidate’s ties to the regimes of former presidents Chiang Kai-Shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).
Shih criticized Soong for using “performing duties in accordance with the law” to defend his actions during the Martial Law era, adding that many of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin’s followers had used the same excuse to justify ignoring their consciences.
Soong served in a number of positions in the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government beginning in the 1970s, including heading the Government Information Office from 1979 to 1984, while Shih was imprisoned for two terms totalling more than 25 years during that period for his political activism.
“This mediocre, evil person wants to revive the old regime and become Taiwan’s president,” Shih said, using political theorist Hannah Arendt’s concept of the “banality of evil” to refer to Soong.
If Soong was elected, people would be reminded of the tragic history of colonialism and anti-colonialism, he said.
Shih, who announced his presidential bid in May, criticized Soong as well as KMT candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for failing to clearly explain the direction they would take with major policies if elected.
“The campaign is being conducted like a township and village election, with candidates hogging [newspaper] space by ‘acting cute,’” he said, criticizing his rivals for spending their time wearing bamboo hats and eating at roadside stalls.
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of