October 14, 2009, the 30th annual awards ceremony of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund took place at the Asia Society in New York City. Lu Guang (卢广) from People’s Republic of China won the $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his documentary project “Pollution in China.”
Lu Guang (卢广), freelancer photographer, started as an amateur photographer in 1980. He was a factory worker, later started his own photo studio and advertising agency. August of 1993 he returned to post-graduate studies at the Central Arts and Design Academy in Beijing (now is the Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University). During graduate school, he studied, traveled all over the country and carved out a career, became the “dark horse” of the photographer circle in Beijing. Skilled at social documentary photography, his insightful, creative and artistic work often focused on “social phenomena and people living at the bottom of society”, attracted the attentions of the national photography circle and the media. Many of his award winning works focused on social issues like, “gold rush in the west”, “drug girl”, “small coal pit”, “HIV village”, “the Grand Canal”, “development of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway” and so on.
1. “At the junction of Ningxia province and Inner Mongolia province, I saw a tall chimney puffing out golden smoke covering the blue sky, large tracts of the grassland have become industrial waste dumps; unbearable foul smell made people want to cough; Surging industrial sewage flowed into the Yellow River…”
The world is currently in the eye of an economic hurricane. The leading edge of the storm, which made landfall in the second quarter of 2008, raged until the first quarter of 2009, and nearly demolished the world’s financial system. By sand-bagging with trillions of freshly-printed paper currencies, fudging accounting rules, subsidizing key financial houses and markets, and calming the masses with half-baked rhetoric, a worldwide collapse was averted.
But the calm is deceptive.
Because of the lull, Western governments have allowed our structural deficits to fester. Now, their spokesmen are predicting sunny skies for the foreseeable future. The Federal Reserve Chairman speaks of “exit strategies” and President Obama asserts that his stimulus package has prevented a second Great Depression. This inability to see past the horizon means our politicians have squandered our final chance to build sturdier shelters in advance of the hurricane’s trailing edge.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it would dump a further 200 metric tons of gold onto the market. With temporary strength in the U.S. dollar and economic recession still threatening in America and Europe, such news should have caused gold to break below key support levels of $1072 and $995. But the price of gold fell only slightly before resuming its upward trend. Why was gold so resilient given the arrival of all this new supply?
“No Sheriff Left Behind”: Sheriff Richard Mack Coming to Ohio for a Five City Tour
Sat, Feb 6, 2010
Sheriff Richard Mack
We are cordially inviting you to attend one of the five events being sponsored by several Ohio Liberty Council member groups which feature Sheriff Richard Mack in the “No Sheriff Left Behind Ohio Tour”.
Sheriff Mack will speak on the powerful role of the county sheriff in the preservation of our constitutional rights and freedoms. We especially encourage those that are military veterans, firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, and politicians to attend one of these important events. If you still hold your oath close to your heart, if you still love America, its freedom and values—we need you to stand with those who plan to protect our nation at all cost!
Sheriff Richard Mack has traveled the country giving his message. He has appeared on Good Morning America, Crossfire, Nightline, and CNBC. He has been heard on over 500 radio talk shows nationwide, and been a guest of G. Gordon Liddy and Pat Buchannan. He is a past NRA Law Officer of the Year, was inducted into the NRA Hall of Fame, and is a member of Oath Keepers. Read more about Sheriff Richard Mack online at http://www.sheriffmack.com.
Sheriff Mack will speak on:
What rights does the Constitution actually guarantee?
Why is it important that we not allow our means of self-defense to be taken away?
What are the dangers of giving government too much power?
What can we do to remain strong as individuals, families, and as a nation?
What can the sheriff do to protect us from all enemies, both foreign and domestic?
No Sheriff Left Behind Ohio Tour Details
(Click on a city for details to RSVP where applicable)
I phoned Rami Elhanan the other day. We had not spoken for six years and much has happened in Israel and Palestine. Rami is an Israeli graphic designer who lives with his family in Jerusalem. His father survived Auschwitz. His grandparents and six aunts and uncles perished in the Holocaust. Whenever I am asked about heroes, I say Rami and his wife Nurit without hesitation.
Soon after when we met, Rami gave me a home videotape that was difficult to watch. It shows his daughter Smadar, aged 14, throwing her head back, laughing and playing the piano. “She loved to dance,” he said. On the afternoon of 4 September, 1997, Smadar and her best friend, Sivane, had auditions for admission to a dance school. She had argued that morning with her mother, who was anxious about her going to the centre of Jerusalem. “I didn’t want to row,” said Nurit, “so I let her go.”
Rami was in his car when he turned on the radio to catch the three o’clock news. There had been a suicide bombing in Ben Yehuda shopping precinct. More than 200 hundred people were injured and several were dead. Within minutes, his mobile phone rang. It was Nurit, crying. They searched the hospitals in vain, then the morgue; and so began, as Rami describes it, their “descent into darkness.”
Have you heard of the “14-Day Clause” of the Constitution? If not, you should take a look at the Supreme Court’s opinion today in Maryland v. Shatzer. Shatzer is an intriguing example of how the Supreme Court makes rules in the area of criminal procedure. It’s particularly notable in that it introduces a very rare (but not unprecedented) numerical rule to implement constitutional protections.
Shatzer is a case on the law of police interrogations when a suspect is in police custody. It’s one of the dozens of spinoff decisions from the 1966 blockbuster Miranda v. Arizona, also known as the “you have a right to remain silent” case. The specific question in Shatzer is whether a detained criminal suspect who has asked to speak with a lawyer can ever be questioned again without a lawyer present. In a 1981 case, Edwards v. Arizona, the Supreme Court held that when a detained suspect asks to speak with a lawyer, the police cannot try to persuade him to change his mind. They have to stop the questioning, and they cannot restart the questioning, even after time passes and the suspect has met with his attorney, unless the suspect reinitiates the questioning on his own.
The decision of the US Federal Reserve to raise its key interest rate was definitely not a sign of confidence in the US economic recovery or a signal that Fed policy is slowly returning to normal as claimed. It was rather a signal of panic over the weakness in US Government bond markets, the heart of the dollar financial system.
Financial markets have reacted with jubilation, by buying dollars and selling Euros, at the decision by the Fed to raise rates for the first time since 2006 for its so-called Discount Rate, going from 0.5% to 0.75%. The Discount Rate is the interest rate charged for banks to borrow from the central bank. At the same time the Fed left its more important short-term Fed Funds rate unchanged and historically low — between 0.0% and 0.25%. In its official statement the Board of Governors said the rate move was intended to push private banks back into the private inter-bank borrowing market and away from reliance on Federal Reserve subsidized money which had been provided since the financial crisis began in August 2007.
The decision, in plain words, was framed so as to give the impression of a ‘return to business as usual.’ At the same time, financial players like George Soros continue to speak openly about the fundamental weakness of the Euro. This has the effect of taking speculative pressure away from fundamentally worse economic and financial fundamentals within the dollar zone at the expense of the Euro. The reality is that the dollar world is anything but returning to ‘normal.’
Listening to AM640 here in Toronto today, I heard an excellent discussion about the letter from “The Boss,” a truth-be-told debate about the value of tax-cuts, stimulus and taxation. In the current climate of government intervention, and neo-socialism, the letter is a breath of fresh air for those of us who have made the greatest productive contribution. Thanks to Charles Adler for posting the letter at his blog.
To go one step further, it is reminiscent of the world of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” in which the story’s heroes, the entrepreneurs, the innovators, the captains of industry, the prime-movers, decide the best remedy is to withdraw, to go on strike, as the world is looted by bureaucrats, socialists, pseudo-intellectuals, and mystics.
Memo to All My Valued Employees
Author: The Boss
There have been rumblings around the office about the future of this company and, more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. The good news, however, is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job, however, is the changing political landscape in this country.
First, while it’s easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last year’s Christmas party. I’m sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up idealized thoughts about my life. But you don’t see the back story.
I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for three years. My entire apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which, by the way, would eventually employ you. My diet consisted of noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting Nordstrom for the latest fashion item, I trolled through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the ’70s. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived lives of luxury. I did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that, some day, I too, would be able to afford the luxuries my friends had.