Earthquake in Taiwan

Deatroyed building at end of streetSaturday morning I awoke at 4:00 am to my apartment shaking. I had a feeling nothing would fall. So, I went back to sleep. I was right, about my own apartment, that was. In fact, I was right about most people who also had woken up.

Honestly, and I’m somewhat ashamed to confess, though it is the truth, I enjoy being in earthquakes. I don’t like them. I get a thrill being in them. I don’t like what they do to people. I certainly don’t like their destruction nor the massive dust storms that follow the buildings they topple. But I have been through enough that I know when I am not in danger; and I secretly kind of enjoy them once I know that. They bring a thrill. Perhaps this is my way of dealing with forces beyond my control. The thrill is an ugly reality about earthquakes.

The problem is, while it was fun for me in the moment, I knew it would not be for everyone.  · · · →

Petition: Protect Taiwan’s Students, Protect America from China’s Military

I posted a new petition on Change.org to raise awareness of the deep problems with Taiwan’s “black box” negotiations with China. Congress and the American public need to know.

You can view the petition here. It is very easy to sign it:

http://www.change.org/petitions/us-congress-protect-taiwan-s-students-protect-america-from-china-s-military

 

Sunflower Movement: A Day on the Ground (photos)

View Jesse’s full photo set at flickr.com

Lonely Morning SunflowerThe sun sets on several thousand gathered in Taipei. Police stand guard with riot shields and batons blocking roads and entrances. Streets overflow with students—some standing, most sitting on cardboard, Mylar heat blankets, or interlocking foam pads. Tents and booths line walkways. Traditional Taiwanese food vendors sit at the outskirts. Projection screens and stages can be found at the corner of every block, each with a different guest speaker. Sweepers patrol, armed with brooms and dustpans. The scene is clean. No one litters. Everyone is a volunteer but the police. Sunflowers and yellow banners are everywhere.

Yellow Ribbons and Projection ScreensThis is a movement unlike anything I’ve seen. Anyone who has personally encountered a head of Sate understands the term “electricity”. If you’re standing outside the White House, for instance, not even paying attention, you may suddenly feel an enormous “jolt” of emotional energy, even with no noise or activity.  · · · →

Taiwan & Israel

Most of the world is unaware of how closely tied Taiwan and Israel actually are. In fact, even the two countries are relatively unaware of their own significance in relation to each other.

Taiwan & IsraelThe Jerusalem Post recognizes many of their similar challenges and realities. Both countries are republics. Israel’s government was founded in 1948, Taiwan (Republic of China) relocated to the island of Formosa in 1949 when it became widely known as “Taiwan”. Both face large and near enemies—Islam, in the case of Israel, and Taiwan faces China.

But there is more to the connection between the two.

Both are strategically important to Western democracies. Islam must go through Israel if they want to reach the United States, just as Taiwan is one of the few bodies of land standing between the States and China.

Taiwan and Israel rarely see snow and their lands and mountains offer beautiful scenery and excellent agriculture.  · · · →