Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I was having a shower this morning as one does, and Felicia came in to ask something, then she went off giggling after she saw me naked. I think its time we also banned her from walking in the bathroom unannounced. She has been eating too many forbidden fruits of knowledge obviously.

Spit Songs

I was just picking up some photos the other day when I met a former employee whom we'd made redundant. I had heard she got a job at the local radio stations and as I started talking to her, I asked if she was still working there, and if I gave her a CD of some music I wanted played if she could pass it on using the usual channels to give it a chance of getting played on air. She just told me to give whatever CD I had to Katie, who still works here and is her flatmate. Anyway, I found a compilation of my favourites which I had put on to a CD and had a niceish label on it which I had made probably more than a year ago. I checked to make sure it didn't have anything too obviously offensive and passed it on. Ideally, I wanted to just put Apple Sauce and Rubber Angel onto a CD and label it like a commercial quality single, but I'd lost all my equipment etc. to do any of that, so I just sent what I had with a covering note and shrugged my shoulders and hoped for the best. I guess it is more likely that 4TO FM and HOT FM here in Townsville would now be more likely to play "Apple Sauce" if it is requested by phone, fax, email or through their web sites. So if I remember, I might do that sometime to see if I get any response. For all I know they might have already played it. I just don't listen to the radio that much. However, if anybody reading this has got nothing to do, it might be worth going to the request part of these radio stations and request Apple Sauce to be played. Hell, it doesn't matter if your on the other part of the country :-). Also, JJJ would have it on their systems also, so a request there might bring results. Now that people can actually buy/download these songs, its time to start marketing them.


Hey, it's December now, so as promised, I will go into more detail into my Lancet study analysis, and into why thinking it wishful thinking that the death statistics are unreliable, but however, the innocence or not of the victims can be taken with a pinch of salt either way. News reports analysis may give a better "feel" for numbers of civilian deaths, and a "feel" for an approximate timeline for death rates. Geographical distribution can probably be gleaned better from the Lancet study also. I have therefore come up with a number of assertions that derive from a balanced view of various statistics, and as complete as possible aversion from spin.

1) Business conditions in Iraq and bordering countries have considerably improved from pre-war levels. This I glean from improved investment and finance figures, returning ex-pats, continued stability towards Turkey's border, and a stabilising of security arrangements and issues, despite localised instability in and around the Sunni triangle.

2) Death rates from the US Shock and Awe period are probably unconscionably high. Although these weapons were used with pinpoint efficiency, the power and time delay from when they were ordered to their striking, probably meant they killed many people not actually targeted, that were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also many buildings that would have been useful to the occupiers would have been completely destroyed.

3) Very hard to know the balance of risk in hunting down some militants mercilessly. Does it motivate the next suicide bombers too much, or does it prevent one from becoming just that? Hard to see how suicide bombers can be deterred by merciless killing of their brethren.

4) As much as Iran and other countries distance themselves from the particular situation in Iraq, there is probably quite a high deterrent effect to some countries. The rule of thumb is that working states can be deterred to a much greater extent than failing ones. The assertion being that Iran will probably be much more deterred than North Korea, and China might even ponder what it means for them - they've got a lot more to lose now than before.

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