20th December 2003
- SADDAM -
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.
- THE MUSIC INDUSTRY -
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.
- ISRAEL -
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