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What will Japanese think December 7, 2016

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Trump.
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You might not know the guy standing next to Trump but I am sure most Japanese do.

His name is Masayoshi Son  and he is a Korean-Japanese businessman who runs SoftBank and owns 7% of Yahoo, most of Sprint and some Alibaba, among other businesses.
He is in the news because of this:

You might think the headline sounds great for America but what will Japanese think? 

How come Masa (that’s how Trump calls him) isn’t investing $50 billion in Japan and creating 50,000 new Japanese jobs? 
Japan is mired in a recessionary economy for decades despite repeated fiscal stimulus from the government, a huge deficit for years, a national debt so large that Japanese people will never be able to payoff and a negative interest rate for years to come?

Doesn’t Japan need Masa’s $50 billion investment more so than the U.S. does?

 Doesn’t Japanese have more ‘宅男’ who can’t or won’t find a job? 

Didn’t Masa make most of his fortunes on the backs of the Japanese people?

Shouldn’t Masa pay something back to the Japanese soceity first before moving his capital out of Japan and into the U.S.?

Are there any behind-the-door deals between Trump and Masa that we don’t know of? 

Is it another example of crony capitalism that Trump seems to be very good at?

Or is it because it is easier to make money in the U.S. than in Japan?

We will see how things play out after Trump is in the WH.

Cronyism and Disruptive December 6, 2016

Posted by hslu in Economics, Global Affair, jobs.
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I usually don’t watch Jim Cramer’s Mad Money, especially his fast-paced, often off-the cuff  stock picks, because I don’t like his in-your-face style and sometimes superficial analysis. But once a while a good piece comes up which deserves some attention.

Greg Hayes, the CEO of United Technology (UTX,) was interviewed by Cramer about Carrier’s decision to stay put in Indiana instead of moving jobs to Mexico. Carrier makes heating and air conditioning units and is a subsidiary of UTX.

UTX's CEO, Greg Hayes, interviewed by Cramer

UTX’s CEO, Greg Hayes, interviewed by Cramer

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ceo-united-technologies-just-let-231538059.html

Moving manufacturing jobs back to America is easier said than done. In this piece, Hayes said that Carrier has to make capital investments to make the assembly line process at Carrier more efficient to counter the higher labor costs in the United States.

But, here comes the rub: efficiency ultimately means fewer jobs. Take a look of the self-check out machines at Walmart and you’ll know what I mean.

Just imaging moving an oversea assembly line back to the U.S. and paying American workers five times more than what oversea workers make. If you were a CEO of such a company, will you make the decision to move your manufacturing plant oversea back to the U.S.?

Probably not.

Another important component of this story is the fact that Carrier got $7 million tax break from the state of Indiana. It was casually brushed off by Cramer in the interview. But we all know that, without this incentive, i.e., other-people’s-money, Carrier can’t stay. This is corporate welfare and it is done selectively. America calls this crony capitalism.

Free market will likely die a slow death in the U.S. under Trump and foreign countries will certainly raise their trade walls to counter Trump’s action.

The Third World War is coming upon us. But more interestingly, who will coming out of this trade war ahead in the years to come?

It will not be the U.S. because Americans will pay for it with higher costs on just about everything.

Oh, I haven’t mention that Trump wanted to send illegal Mexicans, El Salvadorians, Guatemalans and Hondurans back to their home countries yet. After they are gone, who will take up the slack to keep American business going and how much higher will the wage go up to?

 

花悅庭,長泰廣場 December 4, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Chinese Food, Restaurants, Shanghai, 浦東.
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​長泰廣場的二樓和三樓有許多餐館。長泰廣場採取開放式,步行街的矮樓房設計,地下一層有商場,噴水池和美食街。地上街道的第一層是商店,步行街和幾個外國餐館:Outback, TGIF, Blue Frog and Pizzaria等等。第二樓和第三樓有專許多為小孩成長和教育而設計的商店:英文教學,遊樂場,繪畫室,陶土工坊和leadership教育場所。除了這些就是餐館了。

長泰廣場佔地不算小,十棟樓房分散的非常開,有大部分的餐館我們都沒還有去過。花悅庭就是中間的一個。我們第一次去是個下大雨的晚上,餐館外已經有十幾個party在等。我們決定去另外一家,以後再來。第二次,我們選禮拜二晚上,雖然還要排隊,只排了十分鐘。

門口的擺設

烤鴨爐

正在風乾的鴨子。

劈鴨子師傅。我同時看到六個師傅劈鴨子。顯然鴨子賣的好。

一個一個鴨子端出來。看起來不錯。不比七號路上的兩家鴨子店差。

花悅庭的招牌菜:烤鴨。可惜我們只有兩個人。

聽名字就猜它是一個江浙館子,果真如此。你看它的菜單就知道了。

漂亮,特別。看起來很好吃的樣子。我爸爸喜歡海參。我們跟著吃也吃出了興趣。有機會要試一試才好。

我們沒有變出什麼新花樣,還是叫了幾個我們喜歡而熟悉的菜:

熏魚

上桌以前過了油鍋的。外面皮脆,魚肉偏甜夠味,肉緊而酥。比冷的好吃。

菊花豆腐

這道菜是南京大排檔的招牌菜。我必須要試一試,比一比。花悅庭的差多了:既沒有大排檔的好看,也沒有大排檔的好吃。豆腐比大排檔的小一號。有點失望。
農家豆腐

好吃:外面脆,裏面嫩,汁濃,醬收的好。

多吃一點素菜對高血壓應該有點幫助吧。
蒜香蝦球

不及格。完完全全不及格。50分都不能給它。你自己看吧。
宮保野菌牛柳粒

這是一道下酒的好菜:辣的過癮,入味,肉的quality高。沒有一點筋。

干鍋白花菜

菜汁都收到菜花裏了。我們兩個都喜歡大陸的菜花。比美國的要嫩些。

那天是太太的生日。我的生日是4天以後。這是餐館送的壽麪。

清淡的壽麪吃了長壽,健康。

川貝陳皮雪梨

相當好吃。紅糖的甜味都進去了。如果糖汁再收乾幾分鐘那就更好了。

青島啤酒

Third Rail Politics December 3, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Global Affair, Politics, Taiwan, Trump.
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Trump’s call to 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen may put Trump one step closer to the third rail of Chinese-American foreign policy.

Was Trump trying to make a statement about the direction of his foreign policy toward China? 

Was Trump trying to pick a fight with China?

Was Trump trying to use Taiwan as a chip to drive a hard bargain with China on trade, currency, jobs, North Korea, Iran and Russia?

Or was Trump simply demonstrating his habitual and compulsive ‘shoot from his hip first’ tendency again without thinking the issue through first? 

I am certain that without his Asian policy in place first, Trump will need to walk back from his previous statements and actions once he is in the office. 

Legalized kickbacks in the U.S. December 2, 2016

Posted by hslu in Congress, Election, Military, Politics, US Government.
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The way to do this legally is this: you make donations to politicians, up to the legal limit, with the understanding that you will eventually get something back. 

Of course, that ‘something;’ many would argue that it is a de facto ‘political kickback,’ depends on the size of your donation.

Let me exolain:

If you can only muster $10, $20 or even $100 to a single politician or two because you think he or she share your believes, say goodbye to your money. It is gone forever. 

You will for sure get a carefully worded email back saying that your money helps make a difference in (fill in the blank: legalizing pot, gay marriage, 2nd Amendment rights, stopping abortion in the U.S. or whatever pleases you.) You will within a week get a ton of emails from other politicians or organizations which claim to have the same believe as you do. They just want your money. Nothing else.

That’s about all you can expect.

If you wish to facilitate your small business’s operation but can only afford a few hundred dollars, contribute to your district representative and his opponent too because you don’t know who will come out ahead. $2,500 or several thousand dollars are more than enough to get his attention after he or she is in the office. Call his or her office when your business runs into small bureaucratic problem with the government. You should be able to get some relief once your representative’s office steps in.

If you are well off and believe that you might need some subtle but preferential treatment from influrencial people in the future, give $50,000 or more dollars to your senator/House representative and/or their opponents. Whether you are bidding for a multi-million dollar federal government project, requesting a $200,000 research grant, applying for a $500 million dollar green energy funds or needing U.S. government intervention on an affair in a foreign country, call his or her office to get a big voice on your behalf.

If you have a very deep pocket and want to be an American ambassador to a foreign country someday, give big money to a presidential candidate or his/her foundation. $250,000 might land you an ambassador to an African country or a place where birds won’t even lay eggs. $500,000 will likely make you an ambassador to a country in western Europe.

$1 million contribution, preferablly more, to a presidential candidate might get you an edge to broker a multi-billion dollar weapon deal or ten F35 fighter jets contract to a Middle East country. 

However, if your guy/gal lose the election, your multi-million dollar contribution will only get you a warm hand shake, a pat on your back, a juicy steak dinner with a bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafleur and a promise to work as hard as he can to win the next election four years from now. 

If you want to learn how to do it and do it well, just follow the money. It will get you what you want, eventually. 

In the land of the free spying on your activities from the ‘big brother NSA’ and the home of the brave special interest lobbyists, the almighty Congress wrote laws to make certain that accepting political contributions is legal. The legalized quid pro quo works just as well in the U.S. as those under-the-table deals so widespread in developing countries.

American politicians, such as Obama, Clintons or Bushs, want your money bad. Elections are getting more expensive every two or four years. If your guy is not in the office, you have no use of him or her.So pick your targets carefully. Many fat cats bet wrong this time around and they won’t have a second time because no one wants an old lady in the WH four years from now. 

But, those guys are making a list and check it twice. They got money and they don’t have any believe per se. Whoever has power now is a good target for them. Heck, they’ll give money to Trump if it comes down to that. 

Money speaks in the U.S. as loud as it does im other countries.

Never doubt me on that.

Article: 21 technology tipping points we will reach by 2030 December 1, 2016

Posted by hslu in Computer, Knowledge, Technology.
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We will be watching and counting.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

21 technology tipping points we will reach by 2030

http://flip.it/eKZzCs

Sour grapes November 23, 2016

Posted by hslu in Congress, Election, Liberal Media, Politics, Taiwan, Trump.
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​”New York hates you!” was one nasty message which greeted Trump when he cast his ballot at a polling place in Manhattan on the election day 2 weeks ago. 

In fact, New Yorkers overwhelmingly; we are talking about 79%, baby, voted for Hillary. And almost 90% of eligible voters in Manhattan wanted Hillary to be their next president. 

Why are New Yorkers so hostile to Trump? 

Well, for whatever reason(s,) she lost a very winnable race to Trump. People in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennslyvania rejected her. 

America has never had a pseudo conservative billionaire in the WH but they will in about 60 days. Too bad for most New Yorkers because they will be angrily eating sour grapes for the next four years and two months.

Well, NYC is de facto the most liberal city in the United States. It was, therefore, not surprising that they wanted two greedy, lie through their teeth and they-think-they-are-above-the-law liberals in the HW. 

Although I am not a New Yorker, I have paid enough tolls to get there from Virginia; paid enough parking fees and traffic fines once I was there, paid more than an ordinary VA residence’s share of ridiculously expensive meals in NYC, I want to think that I know a little bit about NYC. 

Hmmm…, wait a minute, come to think of it, there were Broadway shows, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Statue of Libery, Empire State building, the boring I-coulsn’t-see-anything ball drop, Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Time Square, Rockefeller Center around Christmas, Wall Street, Battery Park, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Subway, Grand Central Terminal, Coney Island, East Village, Columbia University, NYU, Union Square farmers market, Chelsea, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, MOMA, NY Stock Exchange, the Charging Bull, World Trade Center before 9/11, ground zero, the West side, Houston Street, George Washington Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, United Nations, Flushing, Chinatown, Korean Town, little Italy, little Tokyo, etc. 

In any case, a little more info first on my pocket and NYC: on average, it cost me about $40 in toll each way from VA to NYC. I drove a 4Runner which gave me 17 to 18 miles for each gallon of gas. VA is about 245 miles to NYC. Parking in Manhattan each night was $45. If I took my car to a restaurant around Manhattan, parking fee was $30 for the first two hours. 

So, why the hostility towards Trump? 

NYC has five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Trump took Staten Island because SI is a blue collar community. No surprise here.

People living in The Bronx are predominantly blacks and Latinos. They vote Democrat. Any democrat. They do not like Trump.

Blacks and Latinos made up more than 50% of Brooklyn’s population according to 2012 data. The median age for Brooklyn was only 33 years. They were in general very poor: median income for households was $32,135 and roughly 25% of the population were living below the poverty line. These people depend on government’s social welfare benefits. They don’t like Republicans and they hate Trump even more, even though Repunlican establishment despised Trump. 

Queens is a racially diverdified community: about half of its population were foreign born. Of those, about 50% were born in Latin American. About 10% of Queens’ population are Asians. Trump wanted to build a wall along the America-Mexico border. Before the walk finishes, Trumo wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. They fear a Trump presidency because they want to stay in America. They like Obama 2nd: Hillary because they see an amenesty coming under Hillary. Will they vote Trump? 

Hell.no. They have always voted Democrats anyway.

It brings us to Manhattan where a doctor’s annual income of $300,000 only makes him or her squeeze by the gate of middle income class. A 1,000 sq ft condo on upper east or upper west side will cost you a cool $1.5 million. And that kind of money doesn’t buy a view. Rent for a 700-sq ft apartment here will set you back $6,000 a month. 

There are several kinds of people living in Manhattan:

1. Filthy rich and senile. Most likely inheritted his or her wealth. Owns properties in NYC. Has a dog but May even owns a condo or two in properties developed by Trump such as Trump Tower. Have their names on hospital or museum buildings. Makes his or her living through rental income, stocks dividends and bond interests. Has more money than he or she will ever need. These type of people vote Democrats. They don’t pay taxes anyway because they have CPAs to reduce their income taxes. They firmly believe that they belong to a higher class and the lower class people are here to serve them. I once was scolded by an old lady behind me on NYC’s upper east side because I walked too slowly and was in her way.

2. Rich and young but work like a dog for Goldman Sachs, hedge funds, banks and Fortune 500 companies. They are liberals in hearts because they were taught by liberal teachers in high schools and liberal professors in Harvard or other Ivy league schools. They make very good money but spend a lot too. They use Uber and shop at Wholefood. They tip their doorman regularly. 

3. Freelancers who make their living off people in groups 1 and 2: taxi drivers, waitets, waitresses, bartenders, Broadway show performers, store clerks, dog runners, cat sitters, etc. They also work for foreign dignitaries and tourists. They like tax and spend democrats. They vote the same way.

4. People depend on government handouts. NYC has one of the highest tax rate in the U.S. and Democrats will keep the cash coming. Trump might not.

Do you see any conservatives or Republicans in any of the four categories list above?

Probably not.

That’s why Trump was, is and probably will be hated by New Yorkers.

Article: Gravity is the oldest fundamental force ever discovered. Might it not be fundamental after all? November 23, 2016

Posted by hslu in Science.
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Gravity is the oldest fundamental force ever discovered. Might it not be fundamental after all?

http://flip.it/LQXQJJ

Even though I don’t understand the science discussed in this article, I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Topics like this one has always been fascinating to me.

機場捷運跳票第七次? November 20, 2016

Posted by hslu in Taipei, Taiwan.
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跳票乃是政府官員開出來的空頭支票最終無法兌現的意思。也就是政府官員自己掌嘴,自己打臉,自己往自己臉上丟雞蛋的意思。

跟據媒體的報導,機場捷運已經跳票六次了。那就是說,不同的政府官員已經自己掌自己的嘴六次了。一個萬民仰望的政府竟然保證六次,然後跳票六次。這在任何一個國家都應該是一個打破不了的世界紀錄了。

從台北車站邊上,經過三重,新莊,林口去桃園機場的”機場捷運”,經過20年的規劃,數年的建設和測試,現在應該在明年(2017)3月可以開通營業了。

Source: 中國時報

如今我們在林口定居,真希望不會有第七次跳票。不過,政府走到這個地步已經威信全無了。就算再跳一次票,也沒什麽大不了的了。

我們在2013年年初在林口附近探訪時就聽說機場捷運在那年的年底就要通車了。結果通車的消息一直聽到現在,捷運還沒有通。再等半年吧!住在林口的人已經等了十年了。我們才等個三,四年,實在沒有資格發牢騷,你說是不是?

耐心的等吧!

夜遊黃浦江 November 20, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Life, Death and Yuanfen, Shanghai, Travel, 浦東.
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我們來上海不下二十次,來外灘和對面的濱江大道也不計其數,可是從來沒有坐遊艇游黃浦江的念頭。我們在岸上看那些船在江上跑來跑去,燈火通明的,總覺得幹嘛花這個冤枉錢,沒有什麼意思。我不知道在那坐船,不知道坐一次要多少錢,也不知道一次可以坐多久。

前幾天,太太生日,我心血來潮,要帶她去坐遊輪逛黃浦江。她居然答應了。這一下,我們要做袁大頭了。

在陸家嘴問了賣觀光船票的小姐,她說你在我這買船票和在碼頭買船票是一樣價錢;¥120一個人。你在我這買觀光票,我帶你們游上海:先在浦東逛一圈,然後去浦西,換一個車,再去浦西的幾個景點逛一圈。之後坐車去碼頭。到時候,你隨便坐那一艄船都可以。

我們不想坐遊覽車,不想游浦東,也不想遊浦西。就問她碼頭在那裏,她說在浦西的十六號碼頭上船。

十六號碼頭離南京路步行街地鐵站有一段路,不過也沒有那麽遠,大概一英里左右,走路不到二十分鍾。等我們來說小意思。我們在正大廣場喝了咖啡,過黃浦江到浦西,然後就去十六號碼頭。五點過一點到的。找賣票的地方逗了一圈才找到。標誌不清楚,問了警衛以後才找到的。

買了兩張”船長5號”六點的票,我們就在碼頭等著。我們剛到時,候船室裏沒幾個人。大家低頭滑手機,沒什麽人講話。五點半以後,天開始黑了。快到六點時,突然來了快一百個人。這個不算太小的候船室裏一下子擠滿了遊客。看來旅行團游完浦西了。只聽到嘰嘰喳喳的廣東話,英文,印度英文,馬來話夾雜在中國遊客特有的中國話裏,好不熱鬧。好幾個小孩跑來跑去,急著要上船。過一下大家開始排隊,我們也跟著排。

十六號碼頭夜景

船長5號,給五粮液做廣告。

沒多久大家都上船了。我們在最上一層的露天甲板上找了一個好位子,耐心的等開船。六点五分,船開了,十六號碼頭離我們遠去,船在江中打了個轉,然後往陸家嘴去。十一月月初的上海已經開始有點涼了。江上的夜風吹在臉上有一絲絲的寒意。我們全副武裝免得著涼。

黃浦江的夜景很美。在船上,浦東的陸家嘴和浦西的外灘都看得到。東方明珠從上到下的燈光變來變去,鮮艷奪目的顏色,搶盡了風頭。環球金融中心靜靜的用它特有的藍色和高高在上的那一個方方的空洞告訴大家我在這裏。上海中心獨特的下粗上細的體型,扭轉的身軀和它特有的由右下往左上的活動霓虹燈竭盡其能的想要吸引你全部的注意。震旦大樓還是忠心的閃閃發亮,打出我愛SH的圖片,告訴你我才是這裏最老的成員。那幾個新來的幾個小家伙,雖然高,雖然漂亮。我才是這裏最忠實的守衛兵。

“船長5號”走後,好幾艄遊艇忙著靠岸。

震旦大樓我愛上海

金茂大廈躲在環球金融中心的前面。你要仔細的看才能看到它尖尖的屋頂。後面那一個像戴了黃顏色皇冠的大樓好像是中國安檢大樓。前面那個有兩個圓球一樣的是我們2008年住過的國際會議中心。上海中心高高在上,俯視大地,好像在跟別的大樓說:看你們這幾個小傢伙能搞出個什麼名堂。

其實金茂大廈是一個非常耐看的大樓。它的屋頂獨特。在白色的燈光下襯托出它的棱棱角角。很有個性。東方明珠只有在江上才能照去它的全景。

前面這個有點肚子的是後起之秀。全身都發亮。就是矮了點。

這兩個肚子彎彎的大樓是浦東的農銀大樓

這是一批比較新的浦東大樓。它們離陸家嘴比較遠。離楊浦大橋已經不遠了。”船長5號”就在這裏掉頭。現在要向浦西的外灘去。

前幾年,我們常常來陸家嘴看外灘的夜景。那時候,只有陸家嘴和外灘這一帶晚上燈火通明,浦東的霓虹燈漂亮,而浦西外灘的經典老房卻忠實的散發著淡淡的金黃顏色,襯托出莊嚴的寶相。當然,最亮的就是震旦大樓的霓虹燈了。

這是一個比較老的照片。震旦大樓的霓虹燈一枝獨秀,在那裏搶東方明珠的光彩。它也做許多廣告。不知道這個”唐”字是爲那一家公司做的。以後也沒再看到。

最近一,兩年,浦西這邊從城隍廟附近的老碼頭一直到楊浦的星外灘以東,陸家嘴這邊從陸家嘴金融中心以東的陸家嘴環路一直到湯臣一品以南的世茂濱江花園都是霓虹燈大樓。每個大樓都想在這個寸土寸金的地段爭露頭角。

以前這裏的浦西楊浦區都是黑黑的,沒有一點光彩。現在不同了。小小的矮矮的樓房也鋪上了一層綵衣,暗暗的爭取你的注意。

楊浦區的後起之秀。整個大樓上面的外殼,從上到下都是一個個的方格子。每個方格子的顏色都可以獨立的改變顏色。構成的圖案千奇百怪,獨創一格。比浦東的震旦要新,要漂亮,要有變化。

上港樂也是一個不甘寂寞的角色。

相片左邊的鐵架橋是蘇州河入口的外白渡橋。真正的白渡橋,那個有關唐代兩位大詩人;劉禹錫和白居易,傳說的白渡橋就在這附近。

右邊的大樓是 Peninsula Hotel,半島酒店。綠屋頂的是南京東路上有名的和平飯店。它的右邊是中國銀行。這一帶就是外灘。

上海外灘。1839年中英鴉片戰爭爆發。1842年,中國戰敗後與英國簽訂《南京條約》, 賠償2千1百萬銀圓,開放上海通商並割讓香港為英國殖民地。1845年中國被迫成立上海英租界。就是現在的外灘一帶。

這一帶也是外灘。1845年起成為英國租界。

這個漂亮的大樓是浦東發展銀行大樓。臺灣的富邦銀行也在這裏有小小的一席之地。

快到十六號碼頭了。相片左邊的許多大樓都是新蓋的。

那個屋頂上有一個像菠蘿或蓮花的大樓是上海 Westin Hotel.

快要下船了。我們兩個全副武裝,穿了一身,帶了毛線帽,圍巾和裏面穿的長褲。這些冬天的行頭都是新買的。我們去了北京。這些冬衣都派上了用場。

下次我們再來浦東陸家嘴,黃浦江的夜景一定又不一樣了。