Posts Tagged ‘ USA ’

GM / Ford Bailout

thebailout1Sometimes pictures speak louder than words, but I’ll throw some words in for good measure.

If I were and American taxpayer I would be totally pissed that my tax dollars were being wasted bailing out a couple of companies whose products quite frankly suck, hence them essentially being insolvent.

What the hell anyone thinks the benefit will be of bailing Ford and GM out is beyond me. They won’t change the way they do business, they haven’t up until now so obviously their corporate culture is rotten to the core and the only sensible thing is to allow them to fail and see what rises out of the ashes.

The whole jobs thing is a bit of a red herring, there must be a fairly high likely hood that the staff that are really required (apart from those whose jobs are not really required) will get jobs with another car manufacturer – like Toyota – so it isn’t like car manufacturing is going to disappear from the USA altogether.

US politicians need to learn from the history of car manufacturing in the UK – for years the UK taxpayer financed such manufacturing stars as Austin and the like as they churned out crappy cars with appalling designs. Finally people had enough and these companies finally died sparing the public of their rubbish vehicles.

Ford and GM both rate consistently highly with recalls, the cars are unimaginative and outdated, lack style and sophistication, and could hardly be described as cutting edge.

Time to let go and move on.

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Obama selects running mate

In a dramatic turn, US Presidential Race hopeful Barack Obama has sent the press corps to new heights of ecstasy by announcing at a packed press conference that he is getting Korean cloning company RNL Bio to produce an identical clone as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Now that John Edwards has crashed and burned after admitting to lying (a shocking thing for any politician) Obama had few options left to him. After long discussions with his team it was decided that the best thing for the American people was to offer a dream team, Obama & Obama.

This will allow the voters to have double the ‘audacity of hope’ and double the ‘change’. It will also allow the campaign to double the amount of funds raised from big business $5 on line donations, and double the amount of rallies that can be held in key swing States. 

It will also address the concerns of black voters that he isn’t black enough, as if there is two Obama’s he will be twice as black.

Once the press corp has picked themselves off the floor and wiped the drool off their chins they scurried off to pen yet more fawning columns on the rising star and hope of Liberal Americans and the gullible citizens of the world, and how Obama and his clone are going to ‘change’ everything for the better for the planet earth and the surrounding universe.

Further Breaking News; Obama’s secret shares in NZ Jandal Factory.

Next week; Obama clone stands for EU Presidency after Blair drops out.

Google Privacy

“A federal judge in New York has ordered Google to turn over to Viacom a database linking users of YouTube, the Web’s largest video site by far, with every clip they have watched there”

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/03/technology/04youtube.php

I’m guessing as this is only at a federal court level it’ll be appealed so the final outcome is some way off. It does make you think about the amount of information Google gathers on its users habits.

The information is valuable and in some ways allowing Google to collect it in return for their ‘free’ service is one thing, but third parties having it is another matter. I wonder how that sort of thing would be interpreted under our privacy laws?

I guess I subconsciously assume that nothing is entirely private and everything could come back to haunt you, but being a heavy user of Google I’m a bit concerned that they information they collect could be passed onto another company – in this case Viacom. Viacom claims it is not really interested in the what individuals are doing, it just wants the information to gain an over-all view of what people are doing with its copyrighted material – yeah right! I cannot believe for one second that were a company such as Viacom to get it’s hands on such information that it would use it for anything other than commercial gain.

The problem with the traditional entertainment media – film and music companies – is that they seem perpetually stuck in the dark ages of the pre-internet days. The sooner they accept that people are going to share and use their products in unexpected ways, and find new ways of making money that are not based on what is so clearly an outdated business model, the better. Because if they think that breaches of copyright on the scale that it is now internationally, can be fought through the courts they are out of touch.

There is nothing to gain from being technically right, when the people you are punishing is actually now the majority of your customers. It would be safe to say that there would be very few people who haven’t broken copyright laws when it comes to music or film. Companies like Viacom should be embracing the future and look for new ways to add value to their products, this is the only way forward. No army of lawyers is going to changed what could be seen as a complete cultural shift internationally in the way consumers view music and film.

Obama breaks first promise

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/19/america/20obama-funds.php

Well, the darling of the left and the ‘new hope’ has finally shown his true colours. Anyone who seriously thought that just because he is a talented (but vacuous) speaker, meant that he was actually different from any other politician, was fooling themselves.

Anyone who dug a little deeper should have seen this coming. Suddenly the thirst to win at any cost and boot out the Republicans, has over ridden any principals.

By going the ‘private’ path with campaign funding Obama will now accept money from the sorts of people and organisations that he has up until now claimed he was independent of. I guess the thought that he can out spend his opponent is just too great a temptation to resist.

When it comes down to it Obama is no different from any other politician, and in fact he’s worse than his opponent because the presidential campaign has barely kicked off and he is already breaking promises. If anyone thinks this isn’t a trend that will continue into the White House think again.

I think that to break this promise is highly symbolic. This was a chance for Obama to show that it really was a contest of ideas, rather than about who has the most money, and he’s blown it.

Not that this will stop the fawning foreign left wing media’s love fest with Obama. How disappointed everyone will be. Obama is the USA’s Tony Blair. Wake up everyone, there ain’t no magical third way and some warm fuzzy speeches don’t change the realities of politics.

McCain may be a republican, but at least he has some principals that he has stuck too even when it has made him unpopular with his own party. Obama has very quickly shown how flexible his are.

As a foot note, as meaningless as it is for New Zealanders to have an opinion about the US presidential elections as we have no affect on the outcome, we really ought to be hoping that McCain wins if we care about our economy. McCain is committed to free trade, Obama is against it. Consider that the one thing that will mitigate to looming recession will (once again) be out export sector, then you need to consider that a protectionist president could only be bad for us.