Blogger Ethics

After a flood of near-hysterical hype last week, this is a relatively sensible article on the murky issue of how much bloggers should disclose to their readers. It’s a good read.

Personally, I want to know whether Instapundit pays for all those digital cameras he drools over writes about or whether they’re sent to him gratis with a tacit “understanding.” (I strongly suspect the latter.) Should he disclose this? It’s a serious question.

Update: This is a very cool post on this topic. Excellent information, and great comments, too.


A Chinese baby cries

I just came across this famous photo for the first time in years and it really moved me. A Chinese baby cries in terror at the Shanghai train station after it was bombed by the Japanese. Very powerful.

chinese baby.jpg


China be dammed.

I’ve been reading this site for over a year but don’t think I ever linked to it before. It’s an absolute must-read for anyone interested in China’s pathological determination to devastate its environment through mindless dam projects, while also devastating the lives of those unfortunate souls who happen to be in the way. It’s also available in Chinese.


Henry Blodget wants story ideas about China’s gold rush

Blodget is the analyst who irresponsibly (and idiotically) said six years ago that Amazon’s stock price should be about $400 a share. Now he’s writing an article for Slate on whether the rush of Western businesses to profit from China’s new growth is justified or self-delusory. And he wants you to give him story ideas:

Maybe you’re an American entrepreneur who has a great story about doing business in China. Maybe you’re a Chinese businessperson who can’t believe how foolish American investors are. Maybe you are someone who knows a great factory I should visit in Shanghai, a brilliant executive I should talk to, or just the right guy in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. If you are, please tell me about it (on background, if necessary: I don’t believe in risking one’s career just to get the word out).

So if you have any suggestions for people I should talk to and topics I should study, please e-mail me at

This is very touchy subject, and one I have strong feelings about. Bottom line: China’s a true goldmine for US companies that can take advantage of its light manufacturing capabilities and slave cheap labor. But for those companies planning to get rich selling Bulgari jewelry and Ferraris to the Chinese, I’d say they’re chasing a pipe dream. Oh, and more good comments on this topic here as well.


“Don’t Let China off the Hook”

That’s the title of Jim Hoagland’s column on why the European Union shouldn’t lift the arms embargo placed on China following the TSM. He said the death of Zhao underscores how important it is not to let China off easy.

Zhao’s economic and political reforms in the 1980s began to free the energies that have made China the world’s manufacturing hub and a better place than it was. And yet his comrades and successors made Zhao live, and die, in obscurity and detention rather than face the truth about what they had done.

Their fear is a great tribute to the former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. The severe restrictions that were immediately imposed on news and comment about Zhao’s death and on funeral arrangements demonstrate that what Zhao did in Tiananmen Square in 1989 still matters.

What he did was weep, apologize and express sorrow as he unsuccessfully begged peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators to go home. Zhao knew but did not say that he had lost the argument in the Politburo, which was preparing to send troops with shoot-to-kill orders into the streets of Beijing rather than allow continuing public dissent.

That display of human feeling for others was probably seen as Zhao’s unforgivable crime by Deng Xiaoping, the country’s paramount leader and great friend of American presidents. Deng would allow no weakening of the images of invincibility and historical inevitability that the Leninist regime had cultivated as its greatest weapon of control.

Deng calculated that the regime would pay relatively little abroad for putting Zhao under house arrest (where he remained for 15 years), killing thousands of peaceful demonstrators throughout China and brazenly telling the world that the slaughter was necessary to protect the country’s economic progress. The West will quickly forget, he told the Politburo.

Hoagland argues that to forgive and forget despite China’s less-than-stellar human rights record. “That would betray the humanistic legacy of Zhao, which may grow faint in the West but which lives on vividly in China. The anxious silence of the Politburo is proof enough of that.”


Zhao goes gentle into that good night

This is an interesting look at how Chinese students are reacting to Zhao’s death. They are a far cry from the students of 15 years ago, and it seems Zhao’s death has generated nary a ripple. Many hardly know who he was. The article’s last lines say it all:

For those who witnessed the bloodshed, their trust in the government was shattered. But for millions of others, schooled in the mindset of the party, the economic gains from the ensuing stability might go some way to justify that loss of life.



There’s no shortage of amazing stuff on the Internet, but this site has some of the most mind-blowing photos and information you can find. (This series was especially wrenching.) The site has been the source of lots of controversy, as critics claim its photos could be useful to terrorists. But it’s all publicly available information, and if terrorists want it they can easily get it elsewhere. What are we even thinking when we suggest a site like this should be banned?


Four more years

This article may qualify as the most disturbing I’ve read about what we’re in for under the newly inaugurated Bush. Scary as hell, and required reading. (Read what Perlstein has to say, for example, about “No Child Left Behind.” Jesus.)


Removed the fake tsunami photo

I knew it was fake all along and was just testing you. (Well, not really, though I did have doubts at first.) Thanks to the commenters who pointed it out.


Picasa 2, Google’s free photo organizer

I downloaded it today, and I am in love with it. This company is so smart, so progressive and so in tune with customer needs, it boggles the mind. Just get it — it’s free and it’s ingenious.

Update: From USAToday

On Tuesday, Google unveils a major upgrade that could chip away market share from leaders Adobe and Microsoft. Picasa 2 is almost as full-featured as their Photoshop Elements and Digital Image Suite photo-editing-software packages, selling for about $100.