Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Infrastructure Bill Blues....

This is not a gratuitous bikini shot. This is a culturally significant shot of bathing apparatus and surfing apparel technologies.

I thought I'd headline today's post with the really imporntant news, yet another news report on a mailbox, with bonus pic of girl in bikini. Now I have to move on to trivia like the legislative battle over the infrastructure bill. No bikinis in that one, sadly, so I've provided one at the top of the post.

The battle continues over the infrastructure bill, as the Taipei Times reported today. The infrastructure bill stalled as the DPP agreed to have the Cabinet come take questions on the bill.
NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said that a formal report by the premier is necessary because it is the Cabinet that should answer for the costly projects, not the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

The KMT caucus demanded that a feasibility assessment of all the projects be completed before a legislative review.

The DPP refused to return the bill for another round of committee discussions, as it plans to have the bill passed before the end of the extraordinary session tomorrow.

Following hours of cross-caucus negotiations, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), in an unprecedented move, approved a question-and-answer session for today’s cross-caucus negotiations.

During the session, party caucuses would be able to pose questions to the Cabinet before a clause-by-clause review of the draft act.
The KMT's abject fear of the new bill drove it to protest as ICRT reported on Twitter:
KMT is outside Legistlative Yuan protesting DPP plan to pass infrastructure development project bills. Say bill favors green-admin. areas
The chutzpah never stops with the KMT. For decades it has steered resources to the north, beggaring the south. That colonial economic arrangement is one of the things the DPP has pledged to reverse by reallocating resources back to the south and center. So of course if you are from the north, any bill that balances allocations can be said to "favor" the green admin areas.

Of course, the other issue is that the DPP admininstrates 5 of the 6 municipalities plus several other local governments, meaning that there are fewer "Blue" areas to send money to. Given the DPP's dominance, it would be hard to draft an infrastructure bill that didn't "favor" Green areas...

In seemingly comical counterpoint, the NPP's Huang Kuo-chang accused the DPP of crafting an infrastructure bill that looks just like the KMT's. Huang meant that its analyses and numbers are taken directly from Ma Administration numbers -- "even the punctuation is the same," he accused. The DPP pointed out that it really isn't the same.

Of course, the real issue is the DPP's power to reshape the political landscape by re-orienting local patronage networks, long fed and watered by the KMT, on the DPP, and the legislative impotence of the KMT and the other parties to stop it. The plan calls for investment over eight years, and the KMT has demanded this be reduced to four, and to cut the budget for rail (RTI).

The DPP also plans to modify the bill by adding programs for food safety, low fertility, youth employment, and talent cultivation, to be added tomorrow.
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Kaminoge said...

Ah, Taiwan, where the bikinis are straight out of the pages of an issue of Life magazine, circa 1963.

Anonymous said...


I'm pretty sure that surf+bikini photo was taken on the front deck of one the B&Bs of Jialeshui, on the Pacific coast in Pingtung. Right? It's one of my favorite places in the world. With or without bikinis. Beautiful scenery, clean air, clean ocean, good waves. Sea turtles, dolphins, birds and butterflies. Wonderful.

If you want an obsessive Taiwan history tidbit to complement the bikini photo: during the 1874 Japanese occupation of the Hengchun Penninsula, after the Japanese forces led by Saigo Tsugumichi set up their camp around Checheng (first in the river delta at Sheliao, next on higher ground at Guishan), they sent a ship around to Jialeshui and landed at the beach there to negotiate peace treaties with the local tribes.

As far as I can tell from hand-drawn maps of the landing, it was precisely on the beach behind the bikini, at the river mouth of the Gangkou R, and a camp was set up there on the beach where several of the local tribe heads came to pow-wow with the Japanese. The Japanese complained about the difficulty of landing due to the high waves - which is precisely why I love surfing there!

As for the 1871 shipwreck that started the whole thing in the first place, it seems to have been slightly farther up the coast, around the bend near Jiupeng. The first village that the shipwrecked sailors reached was Kutsukuts, now Gaoshi, where there is now a beautiful new little Japanese shrine on the mountaintop overlooking the Pacific.

Matt Stone said...

Gratuitous or not, feel free to include bikini shots anytime.

Matt Stone said...

@Kaminoge ... Is the old-style bikini a common thing in Taiwan? It has a certain charm... Leaves a bit more to the imagination, perhaps.

Kaminoge said...

@Matt Stone: Bikinis were an uncommon sight during the time I was living there, and the few to be seen were like the one in Michael's photo. I don't know if progress has been made on the modesty front since then...

Anonymous said...

From the history-loving surfer in the earlier post: I can assure you all that there are plenty of smaller bikinis at that beach too. But it's primarily a surf-spot; some girls like to wear shorts rather than bikini bottoms when surfing, to make sure everything stays in place on the waves and no one is staring. If you know the act of popping up on a surf board when catching a wave, it's very easy for things to fall off in the process.

Then again: 3 paragraphs of seriously niche Taiwan history discussion about that location, but we're still only talking about bikinis? Really? Michael's photo selection for the post was clearly an attention-grabber!

Anonymous said...

This is the first thing in months I've enjoyed from VFT. Go with it.