20th December 2003


Last week US soldiers found IRAQ's ex dictator, Saddam Hussein in a spider hole, which seems to be a foxhole with a lid.

After making sure that the US soldiers were not about to shoot him out of hand, Saddam began trying to negotiate an angle.

I am not sure that Bush will wear it.  Bush has something that Saddam (and a lot of left wing journalists) have not got, and probably would not recognize. - principles.

Still, it would be nice to think of the deals that he could do with Saddam.  Disclose the dirty deals done with the French & Germans in return for life?  Disclose a WMD for a few little luxuries?   Give up a cohort or two for the occasional houri?

Me, I think he could be made to suffer more if kept alive.  Once each year put him in a hood in the public square in Baghdad, and let the masses revile him.  Never sure whether an assassin has poisoned the next meal.


During the industrial revolution, the peasants migrated to the cities to work in factories, and the power of the landowners withered.  Not because somebody enacted a law that reduced the "gentry's" power,  in fact, there were laws that tied peasants to the landowner as serfs.  No, it was economics that drove that migration.  Factories paid money for workers, the landowners, on the other hand, collected rent.

There are historical imperatives that cannot be suppressed.  It behooves a wise man to see the omens, and avoid the conflict.

If you are a recording industry executive, my two pence worth of advice is: "sell your Lotus or Ferrari or Porsche, put the city townhouse and the beachfront hideyhole on the market, and go out and look for a real job.  The gravy train is dead."

If you are an aspiring muso, you have probably worked it out already.  Hardcopy is a thing of the past.  You give music downloads away on your website, and hope that you become popular enough so that you obtain website advertising, and/or barrells of gigs.

There is just no way that mainstream USA is going to continue to support the financial aspirations of a handful of recording executives against the political pressure of several million internet music lovers.  In the USA the legislative process and the judicial system are instruments of the masses.  As a recording industry power player you might be buddy-buddy with the local sheriff or judge, maybe even on friendly terms with the local (or national) press corps, but those people are all more subject to electoral/financial pressure from the masses than they are to friendly persuasion by you.

The weight of history is against you.  So forget the copyright laws.  In the long run they will prove about as useful as the laws that the land barons thought to use to control serfs.


On 14th November 2003 I wrote about the wall that Israel is building, I advised that Jewish arab ambitions to take back the whole of biblical Israel were not the way to go, unless they were planning on murdering a significant proportion of the arab race.

However, there might be a way to hold some of that land stolen by the building of settlements and the wall.  It will involve fair negotiations with the Palestinians, and it will cost a lot of shekels (or Dollars or Dinar or whatever).

The problem stated: Arab pride will not tolerate what they see as theft of land by threat of force.  To my reading it is not a Jihad issue, but it is a genuine grievance within the arab culture.

The solutuon might be: The prophet Mahommed sanctioned payment of damages in settlement of wrongs.  Vengeance can be stayed, even for the loss of life, if the appropriate financial compensation is paid.  So the Israelis must negotiate for the extra land that they are taking with their wall, and they must expect to pay a high price.  It is a sellers market.  (My estimate would be around US$10,000 per acre for farmland, several US$ million per acre anywhere near Jerusalem.)  If this seems like a lot, how much is life worth?

In this way the Jews might get a peace treaty, and (because it was a matter of honour) they would get Pan arab protection against any arab terrorists.