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May 26, 2008

Fact for the Day

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I enjoyed this retrospective by The Guardian's literary editor Robert McCrum, who is stepping down after ten years. (CORRECTION: Thanks to Britishreader, who points out that McCrum was actually literary editor of The Observer, not The Guardian.) One of the many striking facts from his piece:

In 1996, Amazon sold just $16m worth of books to 180,000 customers. By 2007, sales had soared to $3.58bn in 200 countries.

A satisfying companion piece to McCrum's is Robert Darnton's new essay about books and digitization. (Link thanks to ALD.)



posted by Michael at May 26, 2008


Just a small factual point - McCrum was literary editor, not of The Guardian (which is published Monday to Saturday) but of The Observer, a Sunday-only paper, which is a "sister" publication, is owned by the same company and, confusingly, shares the same website, but still has its own staff and identity. (The tradition of separate Sunday papers with different titles from the weekday papers, and distinctive characters, is still dominant in the UK. It seems to have no parallel in other countries. Hence, I guess, the confusion - which the internet seems to be enhancing rather than reducing, as I've noticed this error all over.)

Posted by: britishreader on May 26, 2008 9:47 AM

"Okay if it is just wet but a real nasty problem when icky. Then there are the Hmongs, Vietnamese, Laotians et al. By the by, the Vietnam war has been over for - oh decades but we are still allowing Vietnamese into the US. The last boatload to Minnesota were quaranteened in Thailand for a year because the vast majority had active cases of TB. Then of course there are the Hmongs - many of them dumped on white bread Minnesota-- the land of the politically correct uber alles. According to the last mayor of St. Paul, the Hmongs had taken over most of public housing in that city. The state and/or counties housing the Twin Cities built an ethnic school for Hmongs many of whom do not speak English even after having been in the US for decades. They offer travel vouchers BACK to Vietnam so the Hmongs can experience first hand their culture. The young Hmong of a teen age - the boys for instance have gangs which pimp out Hmong girls. Traveling gangs of Hmong and other southesast Asian groups have caused problems all over the midwest, east and west coast. Hmong girls, like their Somali cousins, are disrespected in the macho culture of southeast Asia. Hmongs have pretty much taken over entire hunting areas staking them out as private preserves - few have any understanding of private property rights - but then neither does the federal gummint it would seem. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin of recent years, plus one extensive research tome from the Univ. of Chicago reveal gang culture that would make Al Capone look like a piker. I won't even bring UP M-13 and the other groups - they are 'brown.' The cost in attempting to assimilate diverse groups of recent legal immigrants costs as much or MORE than the cost of illegal immigrants. In Minnesota the healthcare system has dropped entire groups of poor whites in order to accomodate the hundreds of thousands of recent refugees plus illegals to the state. The information packets sent out by the healthcare system is in 8 languages at a cost of millions just for that little courtesy alone. Meanwhile, eight police officers in southern Minnesota near Mankato/Austin Jolly Green megafarms hiring illegal worker were found to have been infected with the TB virus. In Tennesee - Nashville, for instance, has had to absorb Kurdish families fleeing our recent unpleasantness in that area. Kurdish gangs of young men are 'acting out' their transference from a 13th century culture to ... the home of Johnny Cash and Travis Tritt. The University of Chicago study on immigrant gangs in 90s - and I don't mean 1890s - also related that modern urban gangs in the Chicago area may be Russian but often are middle and upper class children of Chinese and Japanese inhabitants of the land of twilights' last gleaming. So it is - just about the time we had finally assimilated the last group that were more enterprising [keep your enemies closer] sorts - the PTB insists we take another round. Our own home grown gang culture was more or less under control. "

Posted by: DianeL. on May 10, 2008 9:57 PM

What is funny about this post is that DianeL. is married with 3 kids to a south-east-asian man whom has never disrespected her or mistreated her with "machoness".

Posted by: Slap_DianeL on June 16, 2008 1:04 PM

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