Sunday, June 27, 2010

Does this man have editors? Did he ever?

A high profile journalist, Walter Shapiro, bemoans the death of privacy (Politics Daily via Instapundit). Apparently for this man, the expectation of privacy only applies to the left wing cabal of journalists of which he was a member and of which he hopes will find a new home.

And they wonder why the public doesn't trust journalists (Gallup, 2004). Expect that these numbers have gotten worse and will continue to plummet. May these journalists continue to get what they deserve.

It's time to break out the world's smallest violin to play the world's saddest song...

Updated (June 29, 2010): From Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism:

The fact that 400 journalists did not recognize how wrong their collusion, however informal, was shows an enormous ethical blind spot toward the pretense of impartiality. As journalists actively participated in an online brainstorming session on how best to spin stories in favor of one party against another, they continued to cash their paychecks from their employers under the impression that they would report, not spin the agreed-upon “news” on behalf of their “JournoList” peers.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

China's (Great?) Readjustment

ChinaStakes takes a big picture view of recent changes as executed by China and what it means:

A series of recent events, i.e. significant pay rises triggered by labor disputes in the Pearl River and Yangtze River Deltas, RMB appreciation from re-decoupling of the yuan to USD, the cancellation of 406 different export tax rebates, with particular influence on the steel industry, has posed significant questions for investors about what this means to the future Chinese economy. [...]

Chinese government began its economic restructuring, as lip services, in the 1990s, but external and internal imbalances intensified, caused by the factor pricing failure and the distorting macro-control. The nature of the market mechanism is in response to price signals. This time, changes in wages, exchange rates, and taxes show that the Chinese economy is undergoing a true transformation, which will also help China adjust both internal and external imbalances.

As far as investment is concerned, the near-future trend is from external demand to domestic demand, from manufacturing to services, from investment and exports to consumption, from cheap low-end products to quality brands. Companies able to manage this wave will grow rapidly, and finding and investing in such companies will create China's next wave of billionaires. China's largest wealth will increasingly turn into the ability rooted in this land, people, and systems.

Read the whole thing. Personally, I suspect that while these are significant policy changes, implementation will happen slowly lest they jeopardize economic growth. The message from China's government is however clear on the direction in which they want to lead their economy. It should also be clear that China intends to make changes at its own pace and its leaders will continue to act in their own interest.

G8 and G20: Much Ado about Nothing

Holding the G20 in downtown Toronto was stupid to begin with. Bill Easterly from AidWatch pulls a passage from Alan Beattie in the Financial Times describing G8 summits:

…at which ministers from around the world gather to wring their hands impotently about the most fashionable issue of the day. The organisation has sought to justify its almost completely fruitless existence by joining its many fellow talking-shops in highlighting whatever crisis has recently gained most coverage in the global media.

By making a big deal out of the fact that the world’smost salient topical issue will be placed on its agenda …it hopes to convey the entirely erroneous impression that it has any influence whatsoever on the situation.

Add to this the completely foreseeable trampling of civil liberties not to mention the simple ineptitude of the police. Someone I knew from highschool in a younger year than I had their house raided and they were even detained at gunpoint when the police raided the wrong apartment (National Post):
Two Toronto veterinarians say they were woken up at gunpoint this morning by police officers who thought they were the anti-G20 protesters who live in the apartment downstairs.

Dr. John Booth said the officers forced their way into their High Park-area home at 4 a.m., turning their home into chaos for about 45 minutes but were unwilling to show their warrant.

Dr. Booth, 30, said he was handcuffed, and spent about 15 minutes on the curb outside the home in cuffs before his identity was cleared up. The officers said they were looking for an activist named “Peter,” who apparently lived downstairs.

As Walter Russell Mead notes, the efforts are simply pointless with any agreements are non binding with little to no expectations of agreements on anything as journalists breathtakingly report on the mess (The American Interest):
Yet, in a striking demonstration of the idiocy and futility with which our world is governed, as the G-8 morphs into the G-20 and becomes ever less likely to produce any meaningful result, it is getting more coverage and not less.

There are several reasons for this. First, the word ‘news’ is derived from the word ‘new’, not from the word ’significant’. Even the sclerotic world of serious journalism and diplomatic convention was beginning to weary of the G-7/G-8 story. With every passing summit, the vapidity of these events became harder to ignore; we were reaching the shark-jumping moment when not even bureaucrats could pretend to care. But now we have new characters and new plot lines. There is almost no chance that the G-20 meetings will accomplish more than the G-7 meetings, but what does that have to do with anything? Evidently, not much.

More what the National Review is calling Toronto's Keystone Kops.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

Walt Disney (via Daring Fireball): "We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies."

I love the quote because it's the basis of great businesses - not the pursuit of money but the pursuit of a passion. That you make money is just a recognition that your passion meets a real need that people are willing to pay for.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's all about your perspective on time...

Jeffrey Ellis calls it "the Best Video Ever". I'm not sure about that... but it's definitely worth your time:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Not Surprising, Just Sad

From a Zogby poll of 5000 people, does it really surprise anyone that self identified "liberals" have the poorest grasp of economics of any ideological group (WSJ via JeffreyEllis)? Of course, what's just sad is that these are the same people who would claim they and governments are more efficient and effective at planning and running the economy.

The arrogance of trade "activists"

On Chinese Factories (TJIC via Jeffrey Ellis):

Say that we had first contact with some super (economically) advanced aliens.

…and pretty soon they set up factories here.

…and I was offered a job in one of these factories, doing software engineering.

The pay is $400k/year.

The work week is 20 hours long.

The work environment is far better than I’m used to – great internal decoration, well tended plants, a zen-like water garden near my desk, massages every other day.

…and then left-wing alien “sentient being rights activists” started protesting, because I was being forced to work for less than a quarter of the prevailing wage in Alpha Centauri, and my work hours were twice as long as the legal norms in Alpha Centauri, and I didn’t have every mandatory benefits like “other other year off”, and “free AI musical composition mentoring”.

…and then left-wing alien “sentient being rights activists” wanted to make it illegal for my employer and I to contract with each other at mutually beneficial terms.

…then I would be rip shit that some elitist who had never visited me, or knew of my actual alternatives on the ground presumed to decide that I shouldn’t have this opportunity.

Which brings me to my core point: Chinese factory conditions may not be the exact cup of tea for a San Francisco graphic designer or a Connecticut non-profit ecologist grant writer … but they’re, by definition, better than all the other alternatives available to the Chinese workers (or the factories would find it impossible to staff up).

Butt out, clueless activists.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A must for all drivers: Laptop Steering Wheel Desk

For those of you who have a warped sense of humor - Check out Amazon's Laptop Steering Wheel Desk. Be sure to see the user added pics and the comments.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

PSA: You are what you eat (and fighting cancer with food)

Just popping in. Sadly, work has been soul crushing though I've made a bit of time for a few small but personal trips here - and while fun, has made life a bit busier. Anyway, here's a pretty compelling look at "antiangiogenic therapy" and a possible "answer to cancer"/and even being fat: