Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cheap Goods for Wal-Mart No More?

There are a lot financial news from China lately - China just loosened a little bit of its currency control and Renminbi moved up a bit against US Dollar; several foreign-owned companies increased the labors' salaries, up to 120%; several provinces increased minimum wages. All these pointed to the direction of the end of dirty-cheap "Made in China" merchandise one can find in Wal-Mart, etc.

Considering the low prices of iPhone and iPad, we cannot deny that there was exploitation involved. If the trend hold and if the manufacturer cannot move to lower-waged region efficiently, it is the end of the golden days of low-priced goods in the US. It would be a more just world, though average Americans must pay up more to support such more just world. Are we willing?

Shade / 陰涼處 / Schatten

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thoughts on Flag Day

Today is American Flag Day. Today I would love to celebrate the national flag of my adopted country but I feel rather queasy about it.

The flag, as I see it, is rather stained by our collective refusal to live up to the standards we have been boasting about and been demanding others to follow.

American Flag

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's So Yesterday

When Carly Fiorina, the fired CEO and politician-to-be, Republican nominee for US Senator from California, mocked her opponent's hair as so yesterday, we know that this country has indeed reached its nadir indeed.

Is this the person we can trust to fight for the average folks's rights and benefits, instead of glamorous, rich and fabulous people rule on top?

If this über-reich vanity candidate wins the day, our country is absolutely doomed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Apocalypse Now!

I wonder if we live in the pre-apocalyptic era.

The jobs are bleeding away, housing marketing is crushing down, glaciers are melting away and the oil is gushing into the ocean.

The over-population and irresponsible behavior of human kind, particularly the consumerism of American brand, are making the earth unsustainable.

Bob Herbert had a just published an interesting article Our Epic Foolishness. He said:

If a bank is too big to [let] fail, it’s way too big to exist. If an oil well is too far beneath the sea to be plugged when something goes wrong, it’s too deep to be drilled in the first place.

When are we going to stop behaving so stupidly? We nearly wrecked the economy and we’re all but buried in debt. But we can’t break up the biggest banks, and we can’t raise taxes. Now we’re fouling the magnificent Gulf of Mexico and ruining entire communities along the southern Louisiana Coast.

BP and the Obama administration have been equally clueless about halting the millions of gallons of oil that have flowed into the gulf since the Deepwater Horizon explosion more than a month ago. President Obama's top adviser on energy policy, Carol Browner, unintentionally underscored the monumental futility of the response in a comment she made on NBC's 'Meet the Press' on Sunday.

'This is obviously a difficult situation,' said Ms. Browner, 'but it's important for people to understand that from the beginning, the government has been in charge.'


We see it in the shrinking middle class and in the black community where depressionlike conditions are fostering not just a sense of helplessness, but despair.

What's needed is dynamic leadership (it doesn’t have to come from the top) to reinvigorate the spirit of America and turn that sense of helplessness around.
Yes, indeed. We need it now. Otherwise, this will be Apocalypse Now!

Dirge / 輓歌 / Elegy

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Friendship with Clientele Countries - China and North Korea, USA and Israel

Recent two events - the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan, apparently by a North Korean torpedo resulting the death of 46 sailors on board, and Israeli raid on an aid flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip that ended with Israeli soldiers killing nine activists -made an unlikely connections to the two special international relationships: China and North Korea, and that the USA and Israel.

The refusal to criticize let alone condemn the aggression of their close friend, or more accurately, their clientele country, China and the USA are dancing the same dance. They both tried to maintain the appearance of neutrality and reason. They both argued for more thorough investigation, more deliberate approach.

It is inconceivable to image that China and the USA have so much similarity. Yet, it happened. As it happened, when the USA tried once again to stand by its friend and clientele country, it lost its moral authority to demand China to do obviously correct otherwise.

Schism / 裂縫 / Schisma