Friday, February 25, 2011

So True....

Via American Digest:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Because the Stimulus Didn't Work

I think this headline says it all: White House Economists Won't Testify on Stimulus

The "Stimulus Package" was a $814 billion dollar fail.  I wrote on these pages before that it was nothing more than a political handout to democratic causes, pay-back for the last election.  And it was all paid for by massive increase to the government debt, raising the baseline "floor" for most federal spending from which subsequent budgets are now based.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

One Casualy of the Digital Age?

Browsing through a catalog I stumbled across something that sort of startled me: big ass bookcases. 

Now I grew up with these things all over my house.  For their three kids my parents shelled out the big bucks for Encyclopedia Britannica and the Great Books, sizable investments relative to their income at the time.  They also loaded up on all sorts of Time-Life series, the ones I liked best being the science-oriented books on Nature, Science, the Mind....remember those?

PLUS there were lots and lots of novels: hardbacks, paperbacks, mysteries, thrillers, you name it.  I grew up with essentially a private library, so large, crowded bookshelves were in nearly every room in the house, the Britannicas proudly displayed in the living room where guests might see them.

Today I carry the same information on my eight by twelve inch tablet computer.  

I've gone digital, a process I started years ago.  My few holdover "real" books that I can't let go of largely out of sentimental reasons sit in a semi-discarded desk in the garage, the few visitors who might find themselves in there running a curious eye over everything from philosophy to religion to the entire opus of Michael Connelly.  "Real" books might be found on my bedstand the few times I can't find something in digital format, but they go to the library or garage when they are completed, never being displayed or stored in the residence proper.

But when I go "home" (I own my own house, but where my parents live will always be home) I find I miss the musty smell of the stacks, the ability to peruse old acquaintances, discovering new additions my parents added since my last visit.

I may revert back to bookshelves eventually since much of the library is to be bequeathed to me once my parents pass on.  Once in my possession I plan to actually finish the Great Books I haven't read, my parent's investment finally paying off in my old age.  But by that time displaying books in the home might be the same as displaying antiques.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Another Reason Why I Am Amazed American CEOs Want To Do Business In China

I saw it first hand over the past few years - China, acting through its government and corporations (which are largely controlled by government officials or military) - is actively seeking to steal any U.S. technology they can get their hands on.  And they will do it any way they can.

Others are finally starting to notice, as published today in the WSJ: U.S. Firms, China Are Locked in Major War Over Technology

China's bureaucrats have been rolling out an array of interlocking regulations and state spending aimed at making their country a global technology powerhouse by 2020.

The new initiatives—shaped by rising nationalism and a belief that foreign companies unfairly dominate key technologies—range from big investments in national industries to patent laws that favor Chinese companies and mandates that essentially require foreign companies to transfer technology to China if they hope to sell in that market.

Many U.S. executives are rushing into China, seeing the "huge market" while giving up their intellectual property, trading long-term viability for short-term profit.  These same executives then go hat in hand to the U.S. government, asking for various gimmies to make the U.S. "more competitive".

It's no wonder the U.S. is falling behind.