Apologies for no substantive posts from me tonight! Am scrambling in preparation for being out of town for two weeks (yes I will be working, this is mainly a change of venue).
Flattery Will Get You Far Scientific American (hat tip Michael T). Clearly there is no hope for yours truly!
Book Salon: Too Big to Fail FireDogLake
Will China squeeze the West on rare earth metals in the coming decade? Market Mine (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)
Google.cn is going rogue CNet Asia (hat tip reader Michael T). Hhm, this is an interesting strategy, act compliant and pretend to retreat (as in say you are hiking out of China) but actually defy the government. Too bad Team Obama isn’t taking notes. Maybe I am missing something, but the official US action looks ill advised: Beijing seeks to limit Google fallout Financial Times. A diplomatic protest? This does not wash. The US has no business making a diplomatic protest over a commercial matter, nor does it have any business protesting internal Chinese policies, at least via this route (how would we react if China filed a protest over US political opposition to CNOOC’s attempt to purchase of Unocal? The backlash was a big, if not the big, reason that bid failed). The Chinese do all sorts of horrid things, like harvest organs from prisoners that are still alive (but we are far from models on the human rights front, our self image to the contrary: one of the biggest, maybe now the biggest, % of population in prison; pretty much the only country save places like Somalia that allows minors to be executed). In terms of either human rights issues there are much better fights to pick, as well as on the commercial front (how about threatening to impose tariffs to compensate for the fact that China’s near total lack of environmental standards is a de facto export subsidy?)
Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky. New York Times
Hoisted from the Comments Economists for Firing Larry Summers
Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal and Krugman, Gruber and non-disclosure issues Glenn Greenwald. I was completely gobsmacked by Krugman’s evident lack of a moral compass (this is “ends justify the means” in fancy dress), and was glad to see Greenwald do the heavy lifting of taking his argument apart.
Antidote du jour (a very nice reader sent this link, and I can’t find his message to provide the h/t! So please forgive me, will amend if you e-mail me or tell me in comments):