Sponge Homer

Homer H. Hillis, Jr. sponges all kinds of information, business, political and trends. I've been seen on the Sally Jesse Rafeal show with noted trend spotter Faith Popcorn. My Blog will give you an over view of what I'm seeing and reflections on the same.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Yahoo! News - China, U.S. Tit-For-Tat Trade Spat Grows
Look for more of this as the election heats up next year. The sucking sound that Perot spoke about was not Mexico but China. There's really no way to stop it with consumer good retailers depending so highly on China. Wal-Mart as I've said imports 10% of all of China's exports. So much for the "Bring the Jobs Home" Slogan
that Wal-mart ran a few years ago. When you promise everyday low prices there's only one way to deliver: China!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Mike Cope's blog: "A letter to the editor of the LA Times about Gene Robinson becoming a bishop in the Episcopalian Church:

'I am just glad that the founder of the Anglican Church, Henry the VIII, and his wife Catherine of Aragon and his wife Anne Boleyn and his wife Jane Seymour and his wife Anne of Cleves and his wife Katherine Howard and his wife Kathryn Parr . . . are not around to see this assault on the values of traditional Christian marriage!'"

Yahoo! News - Dollar Bruised on Fears of Protectionism
I wasn't around during the first depression but I hear that the main reason was the Smoot Hartly trade act, which was an anti-trade, protectionist stance by our federal government. Putting a wall around the USA to import goods from other countries in turn our trading partners of the day slapped heavy tarriffs on our goods, drying up markets overnight.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Yahoo! News - Republicans Extend an Around-The-Clock Debate
I don't know if you had a chance to watch our democracy at work during the 30hr debate now extended by 9hours. If you like talking heads this is your fix!
Now yesterday Mr. Graham said he was going to bring suit against the Democrats for denying him of his right to vote. Hold the phone! Did I hear this right? And these are they examples we are setting for our new Iraq? Come on
lets end the debate and be a good example to the rest of world.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Yahoo! News - China's Trade Surplus Swells

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

"Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

Mark Twain
1835-1910, Writer and Humoris

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

statesman.com | American Christmas is now a Made in China event

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Yahoo! News - Greenspan: Low Inflation Means Low Rates
With Wal-Mart rolling back prices everyday and buying 10% of all China's exports.
The Fed can relax. The deflation pressures of a billion people making all the goods
America can consume for decades snuffs out inflation for a long time.
Take it easy Allen, China is doing your job for you!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

While visiting Sam's club yesterday I noticed an endcap of books: Purpose Driven Life, full and running over. My thought: So many people lack purpose they are looking for a book or someone to give them purpose. I like the book. At the same time I feel purpose driven eveyday of my life. Especially since I became a Christian. This number of books Rick is selling speaks to a lack of purpose in most Christians lives.
Please read the book!

Yahoo! News - China to Invest in Linux-Based Software Industry
This must keep Bill Gates up at night? What he's selling today could be out of favor with FREE software offerings. It's hard to compete with Free!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

DallasNews.com | Dallas-Fort Worth | Latest News Next time they should check out Harry Hines, there's probably
the mother load of counterfeit goods there.
I was passed on a counterfeit RMB at the Guangzhou train station by some
crocked baggage handlers. I handed them a 100rmb they in turn gave me change with a worthless $50rmb.
When I arrived in HK the currency exchange lady tossed this 50 back and said, No good! I said how do you know---she said, "many years of expierence, see them all the time"What did I learn?
Use only exact change, no room for quick change artisians.

"Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles."

Og Mandino
1923-1996, Author and Speaker

Monday, November 03, 2003

China WTO details of the USA-China Trade Agreement: "Quota Elimination
WTO rules bar quotas and other quantitative restrictions. China has agreed to eliminate these restrictions with phase-ins limited to five years. China will eliminate existing quotas upon accession for the top US priorities (e.g., optic fibre cable). It will phase out remaining quotas, generally by 2002, but no later than 2005. Quotas will grow from current trade level at a 15 per cent annual rate in order to ensure that market access increases progressively and reduces the effect of quantitative restrictions. Auto quotas will be phased out by 2005. In the interim, the base level quota will be US$6 billion (HK$46.8 billion) (the level prior to China's industrial auto policy) and this will grow by 15 per cent annually until elimination. "

Forbes.com: Disruption High and Low Here's the entire article. His other one on China is worth reading.

Rich Karlgarrad writes an article for Forbes each month. This month its on Disruption, High and Low. The idea is someone is pulling your customers higher in value and some are pulling them lower in cost. After seeing China most imports are pulling cost lower.
Here's an interesting idea:
"Wal-mart and Dell both started as cheap disrupters, yet in middle age they leave little space for newer cheap disrupters from below. Here is what Dell and Wal-Mart have in common:
Headquarters in cheap locations
the best supply chains in the world
massive sourcing from CHINA.
Dell makes have of its computers in China, through Quant, a Taiwan-headquartered company. Wal-mart now consumes 10% of China's exports to the U.S. and 1% of China's GDP"

Good thoughts on Advertising:

Morris Hite was born in 1910 and he died 20 years ago at the age of 73. Here are a few words that my man Morris left us to ponder…

“Advertising is salesmanship mass produced. No one would bother to use advertising if he could talk to all his prospects face-to-face. But he can't.”

“There is no such thing as national advertising. All advertising is local and personal. It's one man or woman reading one newspaper in the kitchen or watching TV in the den.”

“If an ad campaign is built around a weak idea - or as is so often the case, no idea at all - I don't give a damn how good the execution is, it's going to fail.”

“It takes good clients to make a good advertising agency. Regardless of how much talent an ad agency may have, it is ineffective without good products and services to advertise.”

“Advertising does not cause people to buy bad products. Nothing will put a bad product out of business faster than a good advertising campaign. Advertising causes people to try a product once, but poor quality eliminates any possibility of a repeat purchase.”

So let me ask you again; What does the public believe about your company?

Sunday, November 02, 2003

You meet all kinds of interesting people traveling you'd never see in Abilene or Uvalde. One guy I met spent 5 yrs with the Jimmy Dean Sausage company. Do you know how much breakfast sausage JD sells every year in America? 150,000,000 lbs of sausage! Not bad for a guy from Plain View Texas! Jimmy Dean was the first to make a sausage that had a shelf life to it.
Big John did good!

China�s Factories Aim to Fill the World�s Garages And you thought they only made toys and trinkets?

Foreign investment in the Pearl River Delta between Hong Kong and Guangzhou China is on the manner of a billion dollars per month. A BILLION dollars per month. Most of the labor from all over China is settling in this region for hi-tech and low tech manufacturing.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Yes its 3am and I'm up and ready to go. So goes jetlag. The definition is when you body is 12-14hrs away but your present in the sleepless state of present reality. What does one do? Adjust and tire out and adjust.

High-Tech Daydreamers Investing in Immortality: "Mr. de Grey was not selling an afterlife or a metaphor. He is a geneticist at the University of Cambridge, in England, and his prophecy was straightforward if hard to believe: Getting old and dying are engineering problems. Aging can be reversed and death defeated. People already alive will live a thousand years or longer. "
After reading this story in the New York times I said, "the last time people lived a 1000 years we had a flood, so it must be about time to start a boat."
I'm sure the insurance actuaries guys are following this with great interest. Whole life takes on a whole new definition with 1000 yr lifespans!