Richard Li, Part 2

Tuesday, Nov. 23 —

In Sunday’s column I told you about Richard Li’s daring plan to put together the biggest broadband Internet access operation in the world. That’s just one of his businesses.

In Tuesday’s column, more on Li, the second son of the preeminent tycoon in Hong Kong. Li likes to talk about his businesses, but doesn’t like to talk about his father.

Li isn’t very well known in the U.S. If his plans succeed, he will be.

The Great Wall

Tuesday, Nov. 23 —

Great Wall -- 3

Great Wall -- 1

Great Wall -- 2

A raw, foggy day doesn’t make for the best time to visit the Great Wall. But this astonishing structure is worth seeing in any weather, anytime.

Richard Posner on Microsoft

It’s hard to understand the enthusiasm some people are showing for Richard Posner’s selection as a mediator in the Microsoft antitrust case. Posner, a federal judge, has made no secret of his disdain for antitrust laws in general.

It’s plain that U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who heard the case, is going to find Microsoft in violation of antitrust laws, and that unless Microsoft agrees to some kind of tough settlement Jackson will make a tough ruling on remedies. His choice of Posner, then, is puzzling.

How Posner can wrangle a settlement is beyond me, particularly given his prior statements on antitrust, unless Microsoft is actually prepared to tell the truth and start behaving like something other than an arrogant bully. Recall the 1995 Consent Decree, which Microsoft signed and promptly called meaningless. That public sneering at the Justice Department — and consumers — eventually came back to haunt the company. The Justice Department lawyers and state attorneys general simply don’t trust Microsoft, and they are only being sensible.

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