Archive for June, 2007
Jerry Yang, erstwhile “Chief Yahoo”, and present-day multi-billionaire, has taken over the CEO role of the company he co-founded 12 years ago (has it really been that long? you ask). While the pundits are trading comments on whether he can revive the company, what I thought was most fun was this:
Mr. Yang developed a reputation for taking contrarian positions on issues, helping him earn the nickname Grumpy.
They’re everywhere, I tell ya.No comments
German chancellor Angela Merkel’s greatest accomplishment in advance of this week’s G-8 summit had nothing to do with global warming or easing tensions with Russia, reports the Washington Post. Rather, it was just persuading her reclusive husband to show up.
Since his wife’s election, Sauer — whose name means “sour” or “grumpy” in German — has issued no public statements, granted zero interviews and has only occasionally been seen in public with his wife. So it was big news in Germany when he agreed to serve as an official host during the Group of Eight summit and appear in public to face the cameras, a chore he clearly dislikes.
On Thursday, Sauer took the wives of other national leaders on a tour of cultural and historical sites along the northern German coastline. First stop: a 19th-century castle in the village of Hohen Demzin, where the group of seven first ladies and one first gentleman had lunch and heard a lecture on demographic trends in industrialized nations.
Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.
Not only does most foreign aid go directly into the pockets of politicians, the free food and clothing that does make it out to the people kills off local farming, industry, and trade between African countries: things Africa desperately needs to lift itself out of poverty.
Local farmers may as well put down their hoes right away; no one can compete with the UN’s World Food Program. And because the farmers go under in the face of this pressure, Kenya would have no reserves to draw on if there actually were a famine next year. It’s a simple but fatal cycle.
Why do we get these mountains of clothes? No one is freezing here. Instead, our tailors lose their livlihoods. They’re in the same position as our farmers. No one in the low-wage world of Africa can be cost-efficient enough to keep pace with donated products.
This brings to mind that Paul Theroux piece I blogged about a couple of years ago. “But,” you argue. “Bono is too earnest, and Angelina and Brad are just too darn good looking to be wrong.” Stick to music and improving the gene pool, I say.No comments
Daddy got the bestest birthday gift ever today, and no, I don’t mean because I came home to celebrate with him and the family. Curious yet? Heheh. These lips are sealed.No comments
The search for alien life is yielding weird new worlds at a remarkable rate, reports the Economist.
The rate of progress is extraordinary. The first exoplanet orbiting a normal star was discovered a mere 12 years ago. Before that, the answer to the rhetorical question “are we alone?”, might quite possibly have been “yes”. Exoplanets were the stuff of science fiction. Now the hunt is well and truly on for places that are capable of sustaining life, and in some ways the speculations of the sci-fi writers have been far outstripped by reality.
Full article here.No comments