Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Coloring the thinking leading into WWII and management of the world afterwords.
Britain between the wars | A sense of dread | The Economist: "The period between the two world wars was a time of anxiety and foreboding. Much like our own age—only more so"
"During this period something strange happened. After the horrors of the first world war, many people were convinced that another global conflict would unleash forces of barbarism that decaying liberalism would be powerless to resist and that the inevitable result would be the dawning of a new dark age.
But as the prospect of war drew closer, pessimism and defeatism were replaced with a grim determination to confront the manifest evil of Nazism. In the three years between the crises in Spain and central Europe, Mr Overy writes, “the balance between saving civilisation through peace and saving civilisation by war swung decisively in favour of the latter.” When war eventually came, it was for many people almost a relief—a climax in the patient’s condition after which would come either death or recovery.
“The Morbid Age” is history at its best. It tells us not just what people did, but what were the social and intellectual influences that caused them to do what they did. With elegance and erudition, Mr Overy opens a window into the mind of a generation—a generation with anxieties both very different from and yet surprisingly similar to those of our own today."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
But dealer contracts are another issue, and likely cause for going the bankruptcy route.
Pontiac Headed for Junk Yard - WSJ.com:
"GM's last automotive division to be eliminated was Oldsmobile in 2000. That decision cost GM billions of dollars in dealer-buyout costs, led to messy litigation and frayed many relationships with dealers and buyers."
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Hitchens: Why Texas Is Right on Teaching Evolution | Newsweek Culture | Newsweek.com:
"So by all means let's 'be honest with the kids,' as Dr. Don McLeroy, the chairman of the Texas education board, wants us to be. The problem is that he is urging that the argument be taught, not in a history or in a civics class, but in a biology class. And one of his supporters on the board, Ken Mercer, has said that evolution is disproved by the absence of any transitional forms between dogs and cats. If any state in the American union gave equal time in science class to such claims, it would certainly make itself unique in the world (perhaps no shame in that). But it would also set a precedent for the sharing of the astronomy period with the teaching of astrology, or indeed of equal time as between chemistry and alchemy. Less boring perhaps, but also much less scientific and less educational."
Never about the individual, but large enough groups.
Colored my thinking in college, with studies in Poli-Sci and "Economics"
Attack From the Left: Paul Krugman's Poison Pen | Newsweek Business | Newsweek.com
Krugman says he found himself in the science fiction of Isaac Asimov, especially the "Foundation" series—"It was nerds saving civilization, quants who had a theory of society, people writing equations on a blackboard, saying, 'See, unless you follow this formula, the empire will fail and be followed by a thousand years of barbarism'."
Friday, April 24, 2009
Felix Roatyn, who helped bail out NYCity in the '70's :
"Well, the answer is, I don't know. And I won't know until it's over, because so many things can happen. Now we -- because it is a political issue, we are looking for very -- we're not looking for, but we're going through very complicated structures. And I've always been convinced that, in finances and most everything else, every level of complication adds three or four levels of difficulty and the likelihood of failure. - CNN GPS a couple of weeks ago
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
We'll get our own cherry blossoms soon
Following gives a small sense of the attitude in Nihon where cherry blossoms are celebrated for beauty and change, not as a crop with future cash.
asahi.com（朝日新聞社）：A cherry tree's personality lies in its trunk - English:
"Spring is the go-between that enables people to meet cherry trees. This year's spring is deepening, never to return."
--The Asahi Shimbun, April 12(IHT/Asahi: April 20,2009)
Ban internet news
Frankly, the only newsprint that comes into our house are with two weeklies, the Leelanau Enterprise and Northern Express
Why in the world would Congress investigate the harvesting of trees for news?
Congress Gets Into the ‘Future of News’ Game - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com: "If you think of Congressional hearings, at least in part, as a highly ritualized form of national cocktail-party conversation, it was inevitable that the spotlight in Washington would turn to the fate of newspapers."
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Domains - Stewart Brand - On the Waterfront - Interview - NYTimes.com
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Zen - Nanzenji - a set on Flickr
Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto, Japan
"Nanzen-ji (Southern Mountain Temple) is considered the most famous and important Zen temple in the world. Home of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism the temple consists of 12 sub-temples, which only a few are open to the public. Also within the temple grounds are several gardens, of which only three are available to be viewed."
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Good stuff on swings in banking over the last century
I put it in a much shorter post early Feb
Looney Dunes: Banking should be boring
More pain to come?
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
At least the smile part
Seth's Blog: The power of a tiny picture (how to improve your social network brand):
"The power of a tiny picture (how to improve your social network brand)
If it's important enough for you to spend your time finding and connecting with new people online, it's important enough to get the first impression right."
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Editorial - Earmarks of Scandal - NYTimes.com:
"The Justice Department is investigating whether PMA used illegal straw donors to lard the campaign kitties of cooperative lawmakers. The firm — which shut itself down after being raided by federal agents — fed and fed richly off the defense appropriations subcommittee led by Representative John Murtha, the House baron of Pentagon spending."
"Ms. Pelosi cannot ignore this sorry churn of taxpayer money. Newcomers and moderates are right in warning that if the House majority doesn’t police itself, it will lose credibility all the way to the next election."
How to move the inventory?
Maybe just ban big cars, vans, SUV's ?
But Congress won't move to raise gas taxes, which might influence consumer behavior, maybe help the Highway Trust Fund.
Industry's Big Hope for Small Cars Fades - WSJ.com:
"Practically every small car in the market is stacked up at dealerships. At the end of February, Honda Motor Co. had 22,191 Fits on dealer lots -- enough to last 125 days at the current sales rate, according to Autodata Corp. In July, it had a nine-day supply, while the industry generally considers a 55- to 60-day supply healthy.
For other models the supply situation is even worse. Toyota Motor Corp. has enough Yaris subcompacts to last 175 days. Chrysler LLC has a 205-day supply of the Dodge Caliber. And Chevrolet dealers have 427 days' worth of Aveo subcompacts. At the current sales rate, General Motors Corp. could stop making the Aveo and it wouldn't run out until May 24, 2010.
'I don't think Americans really like small cars,' said Beau Boeckmann, whose family's Galpin Ford in southern California is the country's largest Ford dealer. 'They drive them when they think they have to, when gas prices are high. But we're big people and we like big cars.'
The logjam of small cars is caused in part by the recession, which has sapped sales of all types of vehicles. But it also underscores how badly gasoline prices have whipsawed the industry. A year ago, car companies rushed to react when Americans practically stopped buying large vehicles and flocked to hybrids and small cars."