Is that all Judge Posner?
Friday, July 31, 2009
Is that all Judge Posner?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
"Diversity is our number one priority". Is that from 1984? Is the US Navy Orwell's Ministry of Peace? Remember, "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength". That's our Navy's motto today. Fowler and (misnamed) Roughhead are "metrosexual officers", see my 2 December 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/12/security-and-specialization.html.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
"Zhang Weiyi grew up in Urumqi, the capital of China's Xinjiang region, a second-generation Han Chinese resident living alongside the ethnic Uighurs native to Urumqi. ... Among the dead is his father, a man who had embraced the city's ethnic diversity. 'We never thought something like this could happen,' the 24-year-old Mr. Zhang says, sobbing. 'We buy vegetables together, we eat the same food,' he says, referring to his Uighur neighbors. 'They were my classmates.' ... Whether people like Mr. Zhang and his Uighur neighbors can find a way to reconcile will be a key factor in determining whether peace can hold in the region. ... Han, who make up more than 90% of China's 1.3 billion people, have been migrating to Xinjiang in ever larger numbers since China's Communist Party took control of the region in 1949. ... Today, Hans account for at least 40% of Xinjiang's roughly 20 million people. Many Uighurs resent the Han influx, which they see as an effort to dilute their culture and usurp economic opportunities", my emphasis, Shai Oster and Jason Dean at the WSJ, 10 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124713641544717543.html.
"The myth of a monolithic China was shattered this past week. Running barely beneath the surface of what the government has sought to portray as a 'harmonious' society, the fracture created by the Urumqi and Lhasa riots threatens to shake the country. ... China is also concerned about the 'Kosovo effect,' accusing its Muslim and other ethnic minorities of seeking outside international (read Western) support for separatist goals. But ethnic problems in President Hu Jintao's China go far deeper than the 'official' minorities, Sichuanese, Cantonese, Shanghainese, and Hunamese are avidly advocating increased cultural nationalism and resistance to Beijing central control ... Officially, China is made up of 56 nationalities: one majority nationalisty, the Han, and 55 minority groups. ... The supposedly homogenous Han speak eight mutually unintelligible languages. ... By the mid-1980s, it had become clear that those minority groups identified as official minorities were beginning to receive real benefis from the implementation of several affirmative action programs. The most significant privileges included permission to have more children (except in urban areas, minorities are generally not bound by the one-child policy), pay fewer taxes, obtain better (albeit Mandarin Chinese) education for their children, have greater access to public office, speak and learn their native languages, worship and practice their religion (often including practices such as shamanism that are still banned among the Han) and express their cultural differences through the arts and popular culture", Dru Gladney at the WSJ, 11 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203547904574279952210843672.html.
"The question of why this happened and what went wrong between the Han Chinese and Uighurs who have been living together so closely in this neighbourhood for so long meets with a confused and helpess silence. ... Most eyewitness accounts say that the violence started on the night of July 5 with attacks by Uighur men on Han people and property, an account that has been repeated by the government. ... In the wake of foreign media accounts of Han retaliation last Tuesday, which was not reported in China's state media, and analysis and comment on the failure of Beijing's minorities policies, some sections of the Chinese media have accused foreign journalists of a bias in favour of the Uighurs. ... Many Chinese internet users also expressed their disgust at what they called subjective reporting, distortion of facts and demonizing of China. ... First, it sent military and paramilitary troops there with the double task of securing the territory on the fringes and developing its economy by building roads and starte farms", Kathrin Hile at the FT, 13 July 2009.
"Just as the Russians fear Chinese influence over Siberia, so the Chinese fear that Muslim Xinjiang could drift off into Central Asia. ... As things stand, the break up of China looks very unlikely. Over the long term, a steady inflow of Han immigrants into Xinjiang and Tibet should weaken separatist tendencies", my emphasis, Gideon Rachman (GR) at the FT, 14 July 2009.
"These were premeditated and organized crimes of violence, directed and instigated by separatists abroad and organized and carried out by separatists inside the country. ... Some people with ulterior motives inside China acted in collusion with the [Wolrd Uighur Congress] WUC. ... Hundreds of people gathered at the dictated time and areas, and started beating, smashing and looting at 8:18 p.m. The rioters began their barbaric sabotage of arson and killing, wreaking havoc in streets, alleys and the area connecting the city and the countryside. They tried to kill any Han person within sight, and smashed and set fire to stores and vehicles. ... We are unequivolcally against ethnic separatism, terrorism, extremism and violence, committed in whatever name. Unity among all ethnic groupos, social harmony and stability represent the highest interests of the Chinese nation, the 21 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang included. ... Their trick is to try to clear themselves of their evil acts, mislead the international community, and win its sympathy and support by playing the 'victim card,' and disguising mobsters are the 'underprivileged' and 'peaceful protestors'," Wang Baodong (WB) letter to the WSJ, 15 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124762185860842743.html.
"Turkey has long been a haven for disaffected Uighurs, including Isa Yusuf Alptekin, the pre-eminent leader of Uighur nationalism until his death in 1995. ... In contrast, most Western and Muslim countries have not seen much benefit in riling China over an issue that arouses little international attention compared with human-rights abuses in neighbouring Tibet. ... Mindful of China's proximity, and of the danges of being sucked into further unrest, the 'stans' have taken a dim view of Uighur separatism", my emphasis, Economist, 16 July 2009, link: http://www.economist.com/world/asia/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=14052216.
"But over the years, [Uighur] culture has been threatened by a steady influx of Han Chinese. The result: resentment and unrest. ... Many Uighurs complain that they have become second-class citizens in their own homeland", Simon Elegant at Time, 20 July 2009.
"Earlier this year, a Guangdong toy factory imported 800 Uighur workers as part of a government affirmative-action program. This angered Han workers--memebrs of China's dominant ethnicity--who didn't enjoy the same free room and board. ... Meanwhile, many Han are resentful that Uighurs get preferential treatment from Beijing--including job placement, easier college-entrance-exam requirements, and exemption from the one-child-per-family rule--and see them as ungrateful, especially now that provinces with large minority populations are receiving a generous share of stimulus funds", Melinda Liu at Newsweek, 20 July 2009.
"As Chinese leaders look to prevent another outbreak of ethnic violence, they face a key question: how to spread China's growing wealth to its ethnic minorities when they are losing control over even their traditional industries? ... Although the immediate catalyst for the attacks appears to have been the murder of two Uighurs in a southern Chinese factory, longer-term problems have simmered. Like Tibetans, who rioted last year against Han partly in protest of growing Han control of their region's economic life, many Uighurs feel that Han as taking over Xinjiang's economy. Most galling to some Uighurs, Han seem to be taking over traditonal Uighur industries--from tradtional markets to Muslim foodstuffs. ... Even some large companies making halal foods--those prepared according to Muslim purity laws--are run by Han and not by Uighurs. ... China aims to help its minorities through an array of generous policies, from easier college admission to soft loans and hiring requirements. Some of these have helped create a small class of prosperous Uighurs who sit on government advisory boards and have risen to top levels in the region's government", Ian Johnson at the WSJ, 21 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124811293085765891.html.
China sends Han to Xianjiang to keep it under control. What is Mexico doing to the southwestern US?
The WSJ is sympathetic to the Uighurs' plight in China. I've yet to see it show such sympathy to the plight of non-Hispanics in California. Han migration to Xinjiang followed a war. Did we have a war with Mexico, lose and I am unaware of it? Dilute Uighur "culture", clearly, but not "usurp economic opportunities". Instead make economic opportunities.
What really happened in the Balkans? Affirmative action in the People's Republic? Hmm. More children? Hmm. Like Hispanics in California. "By 2005, accordsing to the World Bank, [Mexico's total fertility rate, TFR] was 2.1--the same as the US rate. ... According to the [Center for Disease Control] data released in 2006, ... Mexican women in the US had a TFR of 2.9. ... So think about it. Women in Mexico have dramatically reduced their fertility rate, right down to US levels. But Mexican women who come to the US have more children than they would have had they stayed in Mexico. ... Why is that? ... As a people, we never directly chose this destiny, nor were we even asked about it. But we're expected to pay fo it, and be happy about it, as our nation is transformed into part of Latin America before our very eyes", Allen Wall at Vdare, 23 March 2009, link: http://www.vdare.com/awall/090323_memo.htm. I think China will transform Xinjiang into whatever it wants, the Uighur's opinion notwithstanding.
China's experience in Xianjiang province sounds like that of Kibbutzniks in pre-1948 Palestine or West Bank "settlers" today. Israel has an opportunity to tell China "we feel your pain. The European press has demonized us for decades. We give Moslems affirmative action programs too. We will send an emissary to cry with you".
I wonder if a "steady [in]flow of [Mexican] immigrants into" the American Southwest "should [heighten] separatist tendencies". Well, GR, what say you?
WB is a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC. Next, WB will call the Israelis for suggestions on how to deal with China's "Palestinians". It could happen.
That's intersting. The Moslem world is little interested in the Uighurs plight in China. Why?
I wonder if the Uighurs are "racist". Or, since they are third-worlders, they can't be.
Quoted without comment.
"Look, up in the sky. It's a bird, it's a plane". No it's not Superman, but Al Sharpton. China clearly needs him. Al, step up. Your country needs you to set the Chinese right. Charge the Chinese a fortune and balance our payments. If China keeps up its current policies, it will become California. Interestingly, Han Chinese control most industries in Malaysia, which is 60% Moslem. Malaysia has Moslem "set-asides" for Bumiputras, the "sons of the soil". Why? Because they can't compete with the Chinese who are called the "Joos of Asia". Interesting. I see a trend here.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Uncle Sam spends tens of billions to keep Lloyd Blankfein in cigars and look at this.
"Intelligent idiots, smart fools, multi-degreed morons--lots of monikers could describe a category of individuals dismayingly prominent in the ruling elites of the West. They are the people so divorced from reality, so engrosed in bookish pursuits that--for all their undoubted intellectual accomplishments and often as a direct consequence thereof--they invariably end up with egg on their faces whenever they try to engage in practical activities. ... It is a common mistake of intellectuals to confuse IQ with common sense and verbal fluency with leadership qualities. ... All [of Obama's] brilliant academics have been brought on board for the sole purpose of lending an intellectual veneer to Obama's political schemes and validate his power grab. ... Which should remind us of the conduct of the Vietnam War by another undeniably brilliant man, full of theories and impressively in command of the data, Robet McNamara, 'the perfect man' in Lyndon Johnson admiring characterization, who died earlier this week at 93. John F. Kennedy brought a tean of 'the best and the brightest' from Harvard to manage the war. They invaded the Pentagon and set about doing what they did best (and actually the only thing they knew): writing learned position papers, drawing charts and measuring results. ... Finally the day came when the fateful point was reached and ... nothing happened. The enemy blithely continued fighting ", Vitor Volsky at The American Thinker, 11 July 2009, link: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/the_audacity_of_conceit.html.
I disagree with DC about one thing in his piece, our war with Islamofascism. It is one more battle in the jihad against Christendom that began in 710 AD when Moslems went from Africa to Spain. DC may not like this, but it is literally kill or be killed. The Crusades were a response to Moslems chasing Christians out of the Middle East. That's history. Unlike Viet Nam, the US has not "escalated" anything in the current "Global War on Terror (GWOT)". While we are making many of the same mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan we made in Viet Nam, we aren't fighting a GWOT. Terror, as many have noted is a tactic, not an enemy. We even arm Palestinians against Israel. Our "GWOT" is insane. DC is correct about how terrorists do not need ICBMs to set off a nuke in the US. Just float a ship into New York Harbor, dock and then kaboom. I said this years ago. For decades now, I've called Robert McNamara, the "Man Who Never Did Anything Right In His Life".
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
"At a hearing in New York federal court on Saturday, assistant US attorney Joseph Facciponti [JF] argued that the [sic] Mr. Aleynikov's actions could harm Goldman and the capital markets. 'The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways,' the prosecutor said, according to Bloomberg", Greg Farrell and Justin Bear at the FT, 8 July 2009.
Ed Harrison has a 10 July 2009 post at Naked Capitalism you must read and follow the link to a Jonathan Weil interview. The blogosphere is all over this. Well, Lev Dassin (LD), will you dismiss this indictment, or get laughed all over the internet? Link: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/07/bloomberg-is-coming-down-hard-on.html.
Aren't you impressed? GSG snaps its fingers and the FBI jumps. What will happen if you bring information of GSG's alleged malfeasance to the FBI? What it will do? I wonder how long McSwain will take until he finds a new job at, no, not GSG. Most prosecutors won't touch trade secret theft. They leave it as a tort. But if GSG alleges its trade secrets were stolen, jump FBI! GSG, bossman commands! With all the fraud the FBI could find, it has time for this case. What's really going on here? GSG likely told Alenyikov's new employer, Teza Technologies don't muscle in on our territory. I hope Aleyniknov forces this to trial and is acquitted. Suppose GSG went to trial on this, what then? What could come out? Remember GSG, Aleynikov can confront witnesses against him. He still has the sixth amendment. Does GSG want an open trial on this? Hahahahaha, would the Mogambo Guru say. This could be worse. Suppose GSG uses that code to engage in market manipulation. Could GSG have hired the FBI to ensure its' manipulations are never exposed? Would the FBI do that? Look at the Joseph Jett case, the Craig Gile case, etc. etc. The FBI is a Big Business tool and never forget it.
If you doubt the pervasive corruption in the SDNY US attorneys office, read JF's statement. He said GSG's market manipulations are fair. I think as JF is GSG's agent, this should be considered a GSG "admission against interest" and bind GSG. Plaintiffs' bar, start your engines! Hey LD, is JF the stupidest AUSA you've got?
This one was a close call, but I agree with the Tax Court.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
"In the last few years it has become obvious that we are living in the twilight of the Western Democracies. ... Does democracy carry within it a poison pill that guarantees its own eventual destruction? ... So, for our purposes, the Age of Democracy covers the last four hundred years--and may well be drawing to a close. The fact that all modern Western democratic states are exhibiting varying degrees of the same morbid symptoms compels one to suspect that the disease is inherent in democracy itself, and not in its particular forms, or the quality of its political leaders, or which countries it holds sway in. ... For the last sevety-five years or so we have been governed extra-constitutionally. ... But peace and prosperity induce somnolence and amnesia. The current state of affairs comes to seem natural and normal. It is taken for granted, instead of being known for the fortunate anomaly that it actually is. We are living in a brief golden interlude of history: the normal state of human affairs is one of brutality, bloodshed and barbarism. It will be all too easy to return to the old patterns as our vigilance wanes. ... But the decline of education and the atomization and degradation of popular culture have eroded the average person's ability to understand the nature of self-government. ... The all-pervading state is a consequence of the feminization of democratic society. The requirement that society be safe, all-inclusive, and free of conflict is a quintessentially feminine notion. Liberty--a quintessentailly masculine notion--takes a back seat when women start to drive the democratic bus. ... When violence and brutality resume their time-honored course, the femimized superstructure of our culture will be discarded quickly enough. Until then, everybody has to drink their milk, play nice and share their toys. ... Sometime in the next quarter-century the promises made to retired people, the disabled, the unemployed, and other beneficiaries of the State will have to be broken", my emphasis, Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna, 27 June 2009, link: http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2009/06/converting-manna-to-gall.html.
Quoted without comment.
I agree with JRN.
I agree with Bodissey.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
"When it comes to corporate America, critics and skeptics are about as welcome as skunks at a pool party. And when companies try to silence dissenters, shareholders are often imperiled. ... Matrixx shares have fallen 71 percent since the FDA announcement. ... Last Tuesday, Matrixx's problems grew when it said the [SEC] had begun an informal inquiry into the company related to the FDA action. ... Matrixx filed a defamation suit against the posters. Then, as part of their case, it subpoeaned Tim Mulligan, an independent research analyst who had published a critical report on the company in his accounting-oriented newsletter, the Eyeshade Report. ... Over the years, he had questioned the practices of several companies that were subsequently investigated by the SEC. ... Matrixx never named Mr. Mulligan as a defendant in its defamation case, but the years of legal work and costs that he incurred defending himself against the company's subpoena finally drove him to shutter his research operation in late 2005. ... Citing regulatory filings and other public documents, Mr. Mulligan's 24-page report that August also warned that Matrixx might not be able to supply the FDA with adequate support for its claims that Zicam reduces the severity of cold symptoms. ... In an interview, [Bill] Helmet said Matrixx's subpoena was not intended to silence Mr. Mulligan. ...In addition to his dismay over the legal battle, Mr. Mulligan said he was perplexed by encounters with SEC officials regarding Matrixx. Amid his legal wrangle, he contacted two SEC enforcement officials offering his research about the company. They dismissed him as 'suspicious,' Mr. Mulligan said, and refused to provide e-mail addresses to which he could send his work", my emphasis, Gretchen Morgenson (GM) at the NYT, 28 June 2009, link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/business/28gret.html.
Welcome aboard JN. I've questioned SEC case selection for decades. It's worse than JN thinks. The SEC chases nobodys like Kwak to avoid politically powerful defendants. In Yves Smith's parlance, it's a "feature, not a bug". Besides, could Kwak, a nobody, offer an SEC attorney a NY BigLaw job when he decides to "go private"? Hey Khuzami, how about this? Offer Kwak a position as your deputy. Well? Look at SEC disasters in cases like: Joe Jett's, the PWC Two and Gile. See my 9 December 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/12/linda-thomsen-please-go-home.html.
The SEC should require SEC registrants filing such suits to file them on Form 8-K with a copy to the SEC's enforcement division which should intervene. If the suit was meritless, the SEC should bar the attorneys who filed it from further SEC practice. But "that will chill zealous advocacy". Tough. If you're an SEC registrant you ain't got no "zealous advocacy" in such matters. The attorneys who acted against Mulligan should be forced to reimburse his legal fees. If they don't the SEC should bar them from further practice. Welcome aboard GM. That's my SEC experience too. If you tell it about something "questionable" and you are not an "approved source", you will be ignored at best, if not investigated yourself. The SEC has approved sources? Didn't the Fed claim it had no TBTF list? Whether or not Matrixx's subpoena was "intended to silence Mr. Mulligan" is a jury question. The SEC should refer this to the DOJ and let the sparks fly. Mulligan may have a good abuse of process claim too.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
"At issue was whether New York's AG could demand mortgage data from federally chartered banks to fish for evidence of discrimination under the state's fair lending laws. Mr. Spitzer was running for Governor, and he wanted to play the racial lending card even as he now denounces the same banks for lending too much to the same people. ... As recently as two years ago in Watters v. Wachovia, the Supreme Court upheld precisely this principle. But now a five-Justice majority, improbably led by Antonin Scalia, who was joined by the Court's entire liberal wing, has opened the gates of state regulation against national banks", original italics, my emphasis, Editorial at the WSJ, 30 June 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124631935435570967.html.