Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oil Theatre, Act II, Scene 1

A couple of pontoon rafts and a circular corral full of wood on the Tsengwen Reservoir.

I leave for a few days on a bike ride and look what happens! The oil scandal widens. I should have left for a week, probably the entire food processing industry would have been implicated...

On Tuesday I was hardly surprised to see that the bad oil sales had been going on for 13 years, according to reports on the front page of the Liberty Times. Apple Daily, always quality, that same morning had the nude photo club taking nude pictures on the metro on its front page.

A Hong Kong firm has now been busted selling oil for animal consumption as oil for human consumption to Chng Guann, the firm that had been caught buying oil from underground oil factory and sending it up the food chain. The underground factory owner won't be a big enough scapegoat for this, I'm afraid the head of Chang Guann will have to go. No worries, some family member will take over the firm and life will go on for all. Leaders after all exist solely to be scapegoated.

News reports revealed that small vendors are not required to report their waste oil volumes. Since waste oil can be re-used, this represents a profit that has no traceable origin, a situation tailor-made for abuse. The legislature is now being urged to draft a bill and get it passed quickly, before this affects the Chinese tourism industry as some fear. Once the bill is in place and the public reassured, then things can go on as before.

The government is even implementing batch by batch oil inspection of oil coming in from Hong Kong. For a while, anyway.

There's a context that someone on the pan-Green side needs to draw out and scream and yell about, and the government likely wants to suppress, which is why they moved so fast on the oil from Hong Kong, I suppose. Recall that the Ma government's proposed Free Economic Pilot Zones will be letting Taiwan firms import raw materials and ingredients from China duty free, processing them, and then selling them as "Made in Taiwan". This is an obvious move by the Ma government to destroy the brand value of the Made in Taiwan label and increase dependency on China. But the faked oil from Hong Kong serves as a reminder that what comes out China is untrustworthy crap. It wouldn't surprise me if the authorities moved with extra speed to put this to rest before someone makes the connection...
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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it better to scapegoat the leader than someone from middle management or none at all?

Michael Turton said...

I suppose, but one wants to see changes in the system, not occasional sacrifices....

Jenna Cody said...

yeah, rather than sacrificing people to the Temple of Capitalism, it would be better to see the whole religion fall.

(I'm not being sarcastic).

Mike Fagan said...

The timing of the HK revelation is interesting. Ascetic monk that I am, I tend to avoid eating processed food, especially cookies and cakes and such stuff so I'm in the dark here, but who are Chang Guann's major competitors? Was it they who tipped off the FDA about Chang Guann's HK supplier and then the FDA informed the HK regulatory agency? That would make sense.

Incidentally, about that picture from the cliff overlooking the back end of Tseng-wen reservoir: the rafts and debris are the least obvious features of that shot - the two large, partially submerged concrete structures are what draws the attention. I have yet to ask what they are, but I have read that they were intended to serve as a debris-collection mechanism. Notice the series of large screw-holes on both the tower and the block - their obvious function would be to connect a series of bars or cables between them, which would presumably block floating debris. For several reasons however, this doesn't make much sense. First, a line to block debris only makes sense if that debris is floating in which case we should be able to see a floating debris line connected to each of the two structures, and yet no such line is visible. Second, the distance between the tower and the block is less than half of the river's breadth and so you'd have debris simply floating around it, which is useless. My best guess so far is that the two structures are an abandoned design for a "turbulence precipitator". As water passed through, the cables would induce greater turbulence to the flow and thus carry sediments further downstream to the front of the reservoir where it would be easier and cheaper to dispose of them than if they were littered all over the entire length of the reservoir. Or at least that's my guess as to the intention. But the two structures have been standing there unconnected for several years now and the screw-holes are all rusted, so it would appear to have been abandoned. It's an interesting little mystery and one that I haven't got around to solving yet.

@Jenna - Yes, we know, you were being unwittingly ironic.