Saturday, January 19, 2013

Kim Dotcom--Are you doing it legally this time?

Kim Dotcom is no doubt a dramatic and publicity seeking person. That in itself is not bad or illegal. His massive launch tonight of his new site; one that apparently acts like a ‘cloud’ system and allows people to upload information and data, without his company’s ‘knowledge, will be one to remember.’ Apparently he is not the first to go down this route but the difference is that he comes with ‘history’ and a story.

People are naturally attracted to his style and while there are still unanswered charges, I suspect that he is going to do well. KI may even check it out and see what happens.

We all know he exposed a very inefficient attempt on the part of a ‘collusive act’ by our police (Government) and the FBI to call him to task. That they failed (so far) and caused a great deal of embarrassment to their reputation is a moot point. I cannot make a call on who is right or wrong in the continuing saga, but one thing is for sure----KDC is not going to lie down and wait until the matter is resolved. He is going to have a huge ‘bash’ tonight at his mansion outside Auckland and the world’s media will be there lapping it all up---like ‘lapdogs.’ Who really are the ‘suckers’ in all of this drama?

Algeria--- is this what we can expect to see even more of?

Algeria is an example of what we can expect to possibly come for many nations in the Middle East and beyond. Any attempt on the part of ‘Arab Spring’ nations to implement real democracy will be impinged by fanatical jihadists. These disparate groups don’t want to see peace in the region because it does not equate to their vision of extreme Sharia Law.

The educated middle classes will be targeted, because it is this group that represents the biggest threat to their plans return the ME to some sort of throwback to a feudalistic past. The other losers will be the women and girls of the region; education will be an impossible dream other than that that serves males and a strict adherence to a narrow perception of the role ‘Islamic Women’ play.

There is a shining example (although women do get a better deal in the UAE nations) outside of the Middle East and that is Indonesia (and Malaysia--- but that is not a strictly Islamic nation). Indonesia’s transition to democracy has not been without difficulties and it has had to balance the impetus of an influential fundamentalist minority that has power beyond their numbers and one that works against the wishes of the vast number of Indonesians to achieve a safe and tolerant future.

They have a way to go and the bourgeoning middle classes are making their mark. This vast archipelago is making huge economic gains and it is a nation that is going to make its mark on the world, with increasing influence in the region. Perhaps it really can be the ‘example’ how things could be. However, they must be looking over their shoulders to the events in the Middle East and hope to avoid the terrible social chaos that exists there.

For Algeria, hope is paramount. Their response to the current crisis was harsh, perhaps necessarily so. Most Algerians too want a peace that includes all of its citizens. The minority that uses kidnap and murder as its way of pushing an agenda will be difficult to defeat.

Austria 'likes' my blogs?

When I saw Austria joining the list of countries reading my blogs, I misread it as Australia. Later I corrected my mistake and wondered if that happens a lot. Perhaps it’s just me; something like my typing---fingers faster than my eyes!

I am of course most pleased to see yet another new country and I send my best wishes for the new year. I hope you get to read my books too. Just go to

Oxfam says that the world's 100 richest people could wipe out 'extreme' poverty!

Really--- the world’s 100 richest people could wipe out ‘extreme’ poverty?’ Wonderful, you say. The world’s problems are over. Well I don’t think you will hold to that first reaction once you think about it, except those of you who hold to the viewpoint that people are basically good.

Think for a moment about how those top 100 individuals or families attained that massive amount of wealth. Such people are a combination of the industrious and many other ‘qualities.’ They are driven to seek power and riches; indeed some would say they are obsessed. Once they reach a certain level many of them are them are determined to win at any costs yet more wealth and power. They reach a point where power and wealth go together, even political power. They have no intention of releasing any significant proportion of power once they have achieved it.

Yes, there are examples of philanthropic people who give away a great deal of money to causes they believe in. We saw an example of that in New Zealand a few years ago when one of our own (Morgan) gave away the majority of his ‘well earned’ wealth. However, such individuals are in the minority.

The very idea of giving up the majority of one’s wealth is totally repugnant to most extremely wealthy persons. They will go to great lengths to ‘hold and increase their positions, so don’t expect anytime soon to see the top 100 divesting themselves of their power and wealth.

Let’s pretend though for a while, that these individuals did have an epiphany; one that that leads them to see the plight of the World’s suffering masses and then genuinely see a need to ‘help the extreme poor. Oxfam is naive if they think that simply giving away money to the extreme poor would make any long term difference. Any massive relief effort must take a longer term view and take into account the reasons for extreme poverty.

Those ‘reasons’ are multiple; including, endemic corruption, long-held beliefs based on culture and religion re the size of families, natural disasters like drought and floods, and political systems that do not allow for shifts in power sharing, just to name a few.

Poverty will never disappear so the best we can do is to alleviate the worst aspects of this. I do not think that the world expects these 100 individuals to give up their wealth, but if they ever did see a place for them to take action, then ‘some difference’ could be achieved. Having said that I have absolutely no confidence that even a small portion of the 100 would come to the party. They no doubt think (those who even care) that they have given enough. Perhaps my view of the ‘goodness’ of human kind is a bit jaded, but time has taught me that humans predominantly still play the ‘survival game’ and that building up wealth is ingrained in our psyche and that once attained at ‘extreme’ levels’ such a stance is as difficult to fight as that of ‘extreme’ poverty.’

So are we going to see a reaction to Oxfam’s statement? I doubt it, except one that tries to deflect attention from the top 100, and that they can continue to build up their power and positions.