The Prophet of 319
January 03, 2007
Dr. Steve Hsieh 薛香川 is the Director of the National Policy Foundation’s Department of Technology and Economy 國家政策研究基金會科技經濟組召集人 . The National Policy Foundation or NPF, is a highly regarded free market oriented think tank in Taipei, akin to the free market oriented Cato Institute in Washington, DC.
As Who’s Who in the ROC reveals, Dr. Hsieh’s academic credentials and job resume are wide-ranging and impressive:
HSIEH, H. STEVE 薛香川
V. Chmn., NScC 96-2000; b. Twn. Dec. 12, ’44; educ. BS, Agr. Chem., NTU 67; MS and Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochem., U. of Wisconsin, Madison 74; Postdr. Fel., Biochem. Dept., Florida State U. 74-77; Resr., Inst. of Dental Res., U. of Alabama in Birmingham 77-82; Sp., NScC 82-84, Dir., Div. of Planning and Evaluation 84-86, and Div. of Life Sc. 86, Dep. Dir.-Gen., Hsinchu Sc.-based Ind. Park Admin. 86-89, Dir.-Gen. 89-96.
One honorific that doesn’t appear on Dr. Hsieh’s resume, but which ought to, is “The Prophet of 319.” Dr. Hsieh is the 21st Century Nostradamus who predicted that Chen Shui-bian and the DPP would stage their phony, now infamous March 19, 2004 Shooting Incident, four months before it happened.
The 319 Shooting Incident
Chen Shui-bian and the DPP staged the 319 Shooting Incident in order to snatch victory from certain defeat during the 2004 Republic of China Presidential Election.
Some Pan Blue pundits and protesters believe that the 319 Shooting Incident swung enough votes to change the result of the election. Their perspective is “Chen did in fact win, but he won on the basis of two bullets, therefore his win was unfair.”
I disagree. Such a reading yields too much politically, and deviates too much from the facts.
Chen did not win, on any basis one cares to mention.
The 319 Shooting Incident, or more precisely, 319 Shooting Hoax, was so transparently phony, so pathetically amateurish, that renowned actor/director Jackie Chan characterized the 2004 Republic of China Presidential Election as “the biggest joke in the world.”
The 319 Shooting Incident probably won a marginal number of sympathy votes for Chen, but hardly enough to make a dent in the one million vote chasm between himself and Pan Blue challenger Lien Chan.
No, the real purpose of the 319 Shooting Incident was to serve as a superficially plausible cover story for the massive election fraud the Chen government would commit the following day — election day.
Chen Shui-bian and the DPP would explain away his utterly implausible “Reversal of Fortune” by pointing to the 319 Shooting Incident and insisting, “I won because of the sympathy votes. Maybe it wasn’t fair, but nevertheless I won, therefore I am the president.”
In fact, as the TVBS/Mitofsky Exit Polls revealed, Chen lost. His opponent Lien Chan won, by a six percent, 53 to 46 margin. Mitofsky International Exit Polls have a flawless record. The Chen regime controlled Central Election Commission’s assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, Warren Mitofsky’s internationally renowned exit polls have never been wrong.
In fact, Chen and the DPP committed so many election law violations between 319 and 320 that even if the “official” election results had reflected actual votes, Chen’s “victory” still would have been legally invalid.
In fact, Chen and the DPP committed so many constitutional law violations between 319 and 320 that Chen should have been impeached even if the “official” election results had reflected actual votes.
When did Dr. Hsieh make his now famous prophecy?
In November of 2003, four months before the 2004 Presidential Election.
Hsieh was watching television coverage of yet another of the Pan Green camp’s Nuremberg style political rallies, when all of a sudden, it struck him.
Hsieh experienced a sudden flash of insight, if that doesn’t sound too touchy-feely for a man of science, for the former Vice Chairman of the National Science Council 國家科學委員會副主委 , the Republic of China’s counterpart to America’s National Science Foundation.
Suddenly Hsieh knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that incumbent president Chen Shui-bian would stage a phony attempt on his own life in order to wangle himself a second four year term.
What kind of phony assassination attempt did Hsieh intuit Chen would stage, four months before Chen actually carried it out?
Why a shooting, of course.
What else could it be? Only a shooting would be sufficiently melodramatic to convey the requisite shock effect.
Hsieh was so surprised by this bolt out of the blue, that he brought his hand down on the table with an audible whack and shouted “So that’s what they’re going to do!”
As Albert Einstein once observed, “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why. The truly valuable thing is the intuition.”
In an interview he granted me last week, Hsieh confided that he has experienced many such intuitions, such leaps in consciousness over the years.
Recently, when the public on Taiwan was delirious with Brokeback Mountain Fever, Hsieh predicted that Li An, or Ang Lee as he is known in Hollywood, would be awarded the Oscar for Best Director but be denied the Oscar for Best Picture. Hsieh intuited that Crash would win Best Picture. As movie afficionados know, Hsieh nailed it perfectly.
Nostradamus, 16th Century French Prophet
Over the following four months leading up to the presidential election, Hsieh confided his intuition to colleagues and friends, including fellow academics, opposition political leaders, and media professionals.
The ever vigilant Hsieh, in contrast with most political observers, realized with growing alarm that Chen and the DPP were not about to hand over the reigns of power merely because the electorate no longer wanted them and was about to throw them out on their ear.
After all, when have Chen Shui-bian and the Taiwan independence nomenklatura ever given a damn about Constitutionalism, the Rule of Law, or even that mythical authority, the “Will of the People?” When has the “Will of the People” ever borne the scantest resemblance to the modest real world aspirations of individual human beings?
Hsieh, in contrast with far too many politically naive members of the Pan Blue opposition, realized that Chen and the DPP would resort to any means at their disposal, no matter how underhanded, no matter how illegal, to retain control of the near absolute powers of his office.
Hsieh predicted that Chen Shui-bian’s staged “assassination attempt” would exhibit the following characteristics:
1. Chen’s staged “assassination attempt” would undoubtedly be a shooting.
2. Chen’s shooting hoax would occur within three days of the election.
3. Chen, naturally, would suffer only “light wounds,” i.e., “flesh wounds.”
4. Chen would frame a veteran or the son of a veteran (translation: a “mainlander”) for this “crime against the Taiwanese people,” and this veteran or son of a veteran would be someone already deceased, who couldn’t protest his innocence.
During the months leading up to the March 20, 2004 Republic of China Presidential Election, Hsieh urgently recommended that the Pan Blue opposition adopt preemptive countermeasures.
Specifically Hsieh recommended:
1. That the Pan Blue opposition preempt Chen’s fraudulent “assassination attempt,” i.e., prevent it from from going ahead by exposing it in advance.
2. That Pan Blue legislators demand that the ruling DPP prime minister provide the tightest possible security for the president, to ensure that nothing untoward happened to him.
3. That because the prime minister would go through the motions of protecting the president while allowing the ruling DPP’s Wag the Dog political theater to play out anyway, the Pan Blue opposition ought to do something superficially comical, but in fact Machiavellian in its shrewdness — reach into its own pockets and hire private bodyguards for Chen Shui-bian, and make a big show of it.
The Prophecy Fulfilled
Hsieh’s astonishing prophecy, as we now know, turned out to be right on all four counts.
1. Chen’s staged “assassination attempt” did in fact turn out to be a shooting, correction, staged shooting. The windshield of the open Jeep Chen was riding in was indeed shot, but the projectile that put a hole in the windshield did not create the so-called “grazing wound” on Chen’s pasty white pot belly.
2. Chen’s staged shooting attempt did in fact occur within three days of election day. It occurred on the eve of election day.
3. Chen did in fact inflict only light “wounds” upon himself. Did you think A Bian was going to subject himself to any more pain than he absolutely had to?
4. Chen and the DPP did in fact accuse a “mainlander,” later amended to “a person close to a mainlander,” of committing this “heinous attack by Chinese people upon the president of the Taiwanese people.” Chen and the DPP did in fact scapegoat someone who was deceased by the time he was accused of the “assassination attempt,” one Chen Yi-hsiung. Even more disturbingly, the circumstances of Chen Yi-hsiung’s “suicide” indicate that Chen and the DPP ordered Chen Yi-hsiung taken on a Chicago gangland style one-way ride.
Hsieh, who sets high standards for himself, faults himself for being ever so briefly thrown by Chen Shui-bian’s timing.
On the morning of March 19, mere hours before Chen’s Wag the Dog “shooting attempt” at 1:45 pm, Hsieh breathed a sigh of relief. He said to himself, “Fortunately my prediction didn’t come true.”
Unfortunately, Hsieh’s prediction did come true. Unfortunately, Hsieh was proved right. Unfortunately, Hsieh’s remarkable status as a modern day Nostradamus would be confirmed only hours later.
Dr. Steve Hsieh, the Prophet of 319 knew.
Democracy, the Worst System of Government ever Tried
Democracy, as America’s Founding Fathers took pains to make clear, is the worst system of government ever tried.
Democracy is intrinsically, irredeemably, structurally flawed.
Democracy’s vaunted institution of “free and fair elections,” for example, is inherently stacked in favor of populist demagogues instead of visionary statesmen, in favor of slimy hucksters such as “A Bian,” instead of learned scholars such as Lien Chan.
Even worse, once the slimy hucksters whom democracy’s electoral politics favor seize power, democracy’s pitifully inadequate structural constraints ensure that such slimy hucksters are instantly transformed into elective dictators who are above the law.
That is why James Madison, 4th President of the United States and Father of the Constitution observed that “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.”
That is why Alexander Hamilton, author of the Federalist Papers declared, “Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy… The ancient democracies … never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”
In theory, a popularly elected president is merely the highest ranking official in one of three or more coequal branches of government, the executive branch.
In theory, these coequal branches of government provide “checks and balances” upon each other.
In theory, these “checks and balance” prevent these branches of government from acting in unison against the rights of the individual they are supposed to serve.
In reality, in any democracy with a presidential system, the executive branch is the government.
In reality, in any democracy with a presidential system, the president is an absolute monarch with a four year term limit.
In reality, in any democracy with a presidential system, the legislative branch is a debating society and the judicial branch is a rubber stamp.
2008: 2004 Redux?
Unfortunately, a democracy is what the Republic of China has degenerated into since Taiwan independence demagogues Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian seized power.
Therefore if Pan Blue leaders are serious about rescuing the Republic of China from disastrous Pan Green misrule, in other words, if they are serious about recapturing the Republic of China’s executive branch, they had better learn the painful lessons of history.
The Pan Green candidate, Su Chen-tsang, Frank Hsieh, or whoever he turns out to be, will simply perpetrate yet another hoax upon the ROC electorate, and thereby “win” the presidency in 2008.
If that happens, Dr. Hsieh warned, the Taiwan independence nomenklatura will consolidate its grip on the Republic of China Central Government, and remain in power for the next twenty years.
If that happens, an entire generation of Chinese on Taiwan will endure a two decade long, “ben tu” version of the Kafkaesque Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution depicted in Chen Kaige’s film “Farewell, My Concubine” and Zhang Yimou’s film “To Live.” They will have nothing to look forward to except a gradual, inexorable, accelerating slide into poverty and despair.
“Democracy,” anarchist libertarian HL Mencken quipped, “is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
Mencken was right. If a society lacks the collective wisdom to reject populist demagoguery out of hand, then that society deserves the predictable consequences of its collective stupidity.
The problem of course is that under democracy, uncommon people who never wanted what the common people wanted, who never bought into demagogic appeals to “ben tu” fascist identity politics, who don’t deserve to get it good and hard, end up as “collateral damage.”
Dr. Steve Hsieh (right) discussing the impact of direct links on industrial development and globalization
When I interviewed him at his office last week, Dr. Hsieh confided that he already has a pretty good idea what sort of shenanigans the Pan Green camp will pull in the days leading up to March 20, 2008.
When I asked him what they might be, he dropped me a tantalizing hint, but then asked me not to reveal what he said to the general public, as he intends to expose the Pan Green camp’s treachery when the time is ripe.
Will the sorry history of 3/19/2004 repeat itself on 3/19/2008?
Yes it will, as the depressing results of the December 9, 2006 Taipei and Kaohsiung Mayoral Elections have already demonstrated.
Yes it will, unless Pan Blue leaders have the humility and wisdom to heed the solemn warnings of proven prophets such as Dr. Steve Hsieh.
Do Pan Blue leaders have the requisite humility and wisdom to heed the warnings of unselfish supporters who want nothing in return except to be spared further Pan Green misrule?
We will know the answer soon enough, on the evening of March 20, 2008, when the Central Election Committee’s “official” election results are announced.