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Archive for May, 2008

I’ve been wanting to hear this for years, and Obama said it on my birthday, in my home state. What better present than civil liberties!Reuters- Obama

DENVER – Maybe it’s his background teaching constitutional law.

If elected president, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said one of the first things he wants to do is ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while Republican President George W. Bush has been in office.

Those that don’t pass muster will be overturned, he said.

Reuters: Bush’s laws will be scrutinized if I become president, Obama says

I need to send that guy a donation.

Related Post: Take a Stand

Bill Mann, at the Motley Fool, has written an article saying that Taiwan is the place to be investing in stocks. I’ve been following Bill’s articles for years and have immense respect for both his analytical skills and his ability to dig up diamonds in the rough. The fact that his Global Gains selections have been absolutely crushing the major indexes only adds to that respect. This is what he had to say:

But people don’t seem to understand that the world’s high-tech industry is almost totally dependent on Taiwan, and on companies such as AU Optronics (NYSE: AUO). Taiwanese companies also have invested more money in China than companies from any other nation in the world.

Think they’re going to get eaten up by China? Heck, no! China runs on Taiwanese capital, and Taiwanese companies are uniquely culturally adept in dodging the difficulties of the Chinese market. Formerly a manufacturing center, Taiwan is now a country that uses its capital and intellectual property, so it’s not spending capital to build high-cost plants in Taiwan.

Yet investors are falling over themselves to invest in China, and no one is looking at Taiwan. Strange.

There’s a lot of truth there. There are a lot more genuinely spectacular businesses here that western investors just don’t know about than you could find in the BRIC countries. I’ve invested in a couple of them myself.

Remember, you are responsible for your own investment decisions! See the disclaimer.

Along with the three companies to sell, pointed out yesterday, I’ve dug up three new companies worthy of a place in the Toshuo Portfolio: Henan Zhongpin, Famous Dave’s and Exelixis.
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While most the companies in the Toshuo Portfolio have what I consider to be excellent business prospects, things have deteriorated for three companies– Panacos Pharmaceuticals, Flamel Technologies, and Panera Bread.
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Over the past six months, I’m not the only one who has seen the value of my investments plummet. After a 6 year bull run, the stock market was over-valued to begin with. On top of that, the housing bubble popped, poor sub-prime loan decisions have come back to haunt lenders, the national debt has been ballooning, and Ben Bernanke’s interventions have had the effect of socializing risk while privatizing profits. In short, it’s been brutal.
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Muninn has made my Pinyin Tone Tool into something more useful– an OS X dashboard widget!

I’m happy to announce the results of a few hours of tinkering: The Pinyin Tone Widget. This OS X dashboard widget will take a series of Chinese pinyin words with tone numbers appended at the end of each syllable and will add the tone marks where appropriate (e.g. zhong1guo2 becomes zhōngguó).

Get it while it’s hot.

I watched Paul Graham’s talk Be Good last week, and I really enjoyed it. It’s always nice to see benevolence rewarded. It’s also had me thinking about my old school and its success– Ron was always completely focussed on what was best for the kids. “If the education is great, the business side will almost take care of itself,” he said.