1st & 11th & 20th December 2004
Sunni triangle Mullahs seem to have realized that the terror strategy
that they have tacitly supported is not
going to disrupt the elections. Oops. Now they want the
elections delayed so that they can negotiate some sort of minority
protection. After all, their Jihadists have been slaughtering all
Shia policemen who came up to try and keep order. Some of those
southern Shia tribes might decide that they have a blood feud with the
Sunni, that the
Jihad was not actually a legal Jihad. Of course that would be
terrible news to all those poor suicide bombers who would no doubt have
to return their 72 virgins. (lets hope they used some of them).
One thing about George Bush. He does not strike me as a merciful
man. I would
suspect that if the arabs in the Sunni triangle could provide immediate
peace, could capture and turn in all the murdererous terrorists (hiding
under the pretense of "Sharia") to the provisional authorities for
justice, then George Bush just might exert a modicum of influence in an
attempt to delay the elections until some sort of minority compromise
was worked out. Admittedly such traitorous behavior as turning in
Sharia warriors would be a huge loss of
face for the Sunni.
But consider the alternative which would be a Shia majority government
After their treatment at the hands of Sunni terrorists, the sucker
Americans will probably not stop the revenge that the Shia exact.
A little over a year ago I forecast:
fundamentalists take positive steps to disown the fundamentalist
that supported that operation (which was an attack against Moslems),
then fundamentalist organizations as a
group will lose credibility with Islam. A cancer of uncertainty
will develop. Instead of growing,
fundamentalist Islam will lose direction and wither."
The Shia in Iraq are the first domino. Bin Laden realizes
this. That is why he has made unprecedented broadcasts suggesting
attacks on oil wells.
The war against Islamic terrorism has turned.
The Clerics in Iran do not seem to understand. Bush is not
Carter, nor, like Allah, is he the all merciful. I
believe that Bush will manage to totally screw Iran if the Iranian
government does not totally and demonstrably (and fairly rapidly)
abandon all plans for developing nuclear weapons.
There are several possible scenarios. Now that Iraq is
"neutralized" one solution might involve an Israel "surgical
strike". Of course the Israelis might be unwilling to spoil their
peace prospects, so if the Iranians have the sense to tell Hezbollah to
support a peace treaty in Israel, they might cancel that option.
The Israelis are fairly cynical, so it would have to be a solid
treaty. The Iranians might think that they could reverse such
treaty when it has served it's purpose, but I believe that the
Palestinians are ready for peace, and once set on course would not be
To the Mullahs in Iran. Do not take much comfort from what US
write. Bush only gives them lip service.
EUROPE & USA -
On the Eastern marches of Europe, Ukraine (population 50 million,
located above the Black Sea) is in the throes of a deciding what to do
about a contested presidential election. The Russians have sided
with the pro-Russian, nominated winner. European powers (led by
Poland) have taken the part of the losing contestant. At stake is
the future direction of the Ukraine, either as part of the Russian or
as part of the European power block. The US is supporting Europe
in a desultory
fashion. I am not sure that US policy should be to
support a European Ukraine (or Chechen terrorists) against
Russia. I tend to
believe that the USA of the 21st century might have as much in common
with Russia as it has with Europe. It might
be a good idea not to diminish Russia too much. (Perhaps Russia
should apply to become the 51st state?).
I am not sure which way I would recommend to Ukrainians that they
should vote. Europe
is stultified, and unless there is a revolution (a' la the French
type, where those in power are guillotined for "crimes against the
people") all I can foresee is devolution to an overtaxed hell where
government bureaucrats in Brussels vampire the population. At
Russian empire is in the throes of change, and perhaps something
good might eventuate.
The US dollar is falling against the Euro. This signifies that
the US policy of non-intervention is partially succeeding. The
Chinese are still hanging in there, maintaining their fixed Yuan/US$
rate. The price of oil is falling, is now around US$45, down from
the mid $50's. It
is reported that European Auto Makers are losing market share, and Ford
USA is in trouble. (Toyota is still profitable I
believe.) Pity the Chinese. They must know they will
have to (eventually) appreciate against the US$, but realize that any
movement will be taken as a sign of weakness by the wolves, (=hedge
funds) and probably initiate a run (i.e. massive purchases) of their
currency. My suggestion is to bite the bullet sooner rather
than later, devalue (~ 5%) and hold the mark till the speculators have
Michael Jackson has been raided AGAIN. To me, it looks like a liberal
prosecutor who can't admit that he was wrong. We get those
corrupters of the judicial process in Australia. Lindy
Chamberlain was accused two decades ago of murdering her baby, and
originally a police prosecutor had her convicted. An appeal with
the help of a federal MP reversed that judgment. Now that MP is
pressure from the police force involved.
The Australian dollar is vacillating. At first it
rose as the US$=Yuan retreated, now it is sliding. I expect that
stabilize somewhere either side of $US0.80c. More to the point,
it will devalue
slightly against gold, which will cause a lot of our (now uneconomic)
Australian gold mines to resume production.
The internet file sharing system
called Kazaa is currently defending
itself in Australian courts against the music publishers.
comes to libertarian values in courts, Australia is about as primitive
as it gets. We
have not advanced much since the days of the Eureka Stockade, when
police murdered diggers at the Victorian goldfields for wanting a
representative voice on their taxation. (By that time the British
Government had learned their lesson on imposed taxation from America.
So a couple of decades later they saddled us with a defective
constitution giving politicians too much power, and then
gave us independence).
As an example of the backwardness of the Australian legal system:
recently some poor male with a mobile phone-camera
combination was fined $500 by a beak (magistrate) for photographing
some topless ladies on
a public beach. I understand that
bare breasts are acceptable on Australian beaches. (I do not know
certain whether they are legal, but there are always plenty available
for viewing on
Bondi beach). I am
not sure of the rationale behind that conviction, but then, it was only
a lowly beak (not a real judge) who made that decision. I would
that it would be reversed on appeal.
Fortunately, it doesn't
matter what Australian courts decide.
The copyright industry is dead.
The music industry are fighting back by creating "false" Kazaa sites,
that seven out of eight sites do not actually have music files, only a
copyright warning notice.
Done properly, that would be a rather expensive exercise. However
will not work. The music companies are pissing into
the wind. Copyright (not just music, but video and books) are as
dead as the dodo. Even if they stop Kazaa, even if their "false
files" initiative works, there are millions of computer literate music
fans out there, all trying to
swap music files. Even with hundreds of (expensive) software
those fans will devise new ways to swap files faster than the wizards
can think of new ways to prevent them. I mean, hell, fans could
even swap music files by PGP encrypted
e-mail. They could employ a "cell" system, where each cell member
can only reveal the e-mails of say, at most, a dozen other
people. As I said in an earlier diary, to
recording industry executives, "sell your Lotus or Ferrari
or Porsche, put the city townhouse and the beachfront hideyhole on the
and go out and look for a real job. The gravy train is dead."
There is only one workable defense for the copyright industry.
That is to stop charging the present outrageous ripoff prices for
copyright material. My suggestion is to start selling music CD's
for about $4.00 (instead of $20-$30) each. Video DVD's could be
for about US$8 each. Paperbacks in the USA at about US$6.00 are
reasonably priced, and personally I would be prepared to pay that much
for hardcopy. (The policy of publishing first in expensive
Hardback is deplorable.) However in Australia paperbacks cost
about AU$20 which is US$15, an outrageous ripoff which can only be
circumvented by bulk buying from the USA or by downloading a pirated
On 20th December the US Supreme court accepted an
the Music industry to review Napster. A famous Australian prime
minister once said words to the effect "It's no use making a law if you
can't enforce it". If those nine justices are getting good
they will confirm the lower court judgement. It is too late to
the barn door.
Other news from Australia is that our Telecom monopoly
announced the retirement of CEO "Ziggy". It is interesting
to note that the only CEO's who seem to succeed in running major
corporations (those with expansionist policies) are
e.g. Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Apple, News, Yahoo prospered incredibly under
direction of their founders. As soon as the board (or somebody)
appointed an MBA or something to replace the founder (think Apple,
Wal-Mart, Telstra) then corporate profits begin to flounder, direction
is lost. If I was
investing in the stock market (which I can't be bothered doing because
I can't be bothered filling in the income tax forms required thereby) I
would only invest on the jockeys, never the horses. I trust
Rupert Murdoch, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates to make a profit. If it is
an MBA CEO, (I don't care whether it's issued by Harvard or
Woop-Woop) if he starts planning takeovers etc. sell
pronto. Think John Elliott of Fosters Beer fame. Think
Ziggy Switzkowski of PCCW fame. MBA's have the impression that
they are a person with twice their actual intelligence.
ISRAEL - PALESTINE -
In the Bible, Moses wandered the desert for forty years.
when he died did the tribe of Israel enter the promised land.
Arafat is gone. Tired old men know it all, and will never
relinquish the slightest advantage. The Israelis must
change leaders. A new leader with no baggage is needed.
Peace in Palestine/Israel is more essential than destroying Al
Quaida. Peace in Palestine/Israel will lead to peace in the world.
Sharon must go.
Turkey has been approved to begin consultations on joining Europe.
Here we have an example of the lie that is representative
democracy. Practically none of the people of Europe want
Turkey to join the union. And yet, Turkey has been invited in a