It’s amazing how time flies by, even when you’re not really having that much fun! Those of you who follow the boat saga will be up to date on the latest news on that front, those who don’t won’t be particularly interested.
The World in general
As I thought at the time, the rioting over ‘that U tube’ video clip would be fairly short-lived. A tragedy that lives were lost of course but it now transpires that most of the violence was pre-planned and had nothing to do with the film. By way of contrast, whilst all that was going on inmates in a prison in New York successfully sued the prison authorities because they were not allowed dental floss. I’d never realised that American prisons were so hygienic. Equally, I must admit that I’d never thought of dental floss as a potential weapon before, although I suppose it might be possible to garrote somebody with it. Perhaps any Special Forces types out there might care to comment?
In the Middle East Turkey is slowly drawing NATO into the Syrian morass. I’m not sure what they hope to gain out of it, NATO will help defend Turkey but I really don’t think they’d back a full-scale invasion. I remain convinced that Turkey is trying to settle the Hatti province sovereignty question once and for all as well as making sure the Turkish Kurds don’t cause trouble by overtly supporting the PKK. It was interesting to see that the Free Syrian Army has been causing trouble in the Syrian Kurdish enclave, on the pretext that the Kurdish militia was supporting the Assad regime. They weren’t and don’t, but should the FSA overthrow Assad they obviously have no intention of letting the Kurds have any autonomy. It’s probably also some form of payback for the lack of Kurdish support for the FSA. One final thought, if it’s OK for Turkey to react to mortars fired across its borders why is it not OK for Israel to react to missiles fired from Gaza? Answers on a postcard please.
Israel reacted calmly to an incursion by a drone. Well the government and the IDF did, sections of the Israeli press got a bit hysterical about it and doubtless a multitude of the rabid right wingers foamed at the mouth and dreamed of bombing Iran. I suspect that the IDF learnt more about the drone than whoever operated it learnt about whatever it was they were hoping to learn something about in Israel. The drone was probably detected at launch or shortly after and was intercepted and destroyed whilst apparently en-route to the nuclear reactor site at Dimona. I can’t imagine that whoever dispatched it actually thought that it would get to Dimona and far from being some sort of warning to Israel about how vulnerable they are I rather imagine that the IDF are having a quiet chuckle. Netanyahu has called a general election for January and he and Likud will no doubt once again be the largest party in the Knesset. Although I don’t agree with all his policies, he really is the only politician of any stature in Israel.
Egypt has been showing solidarity with the people of Gaza by blowing up smugglers tunnels that run from Gaza into the Sinai. Not only are they handy for smuggling goods and arms from Egypt into Gaza but extremist groups were also using them to sneak into Gaza and attack Egyptian army positions. Not exactly how to win friends and influence people and once again the IDF is probably having a quite chuckle. Meanwhile President Mursi continues to have trouble on the home front as Egyptians appear to have decided that they aren’t that keen on strict Sharia Law after all. He’s also toned the anti-Israel rhetoric down as it finally sinks in that America is perfectly prepared to cut off aid if he doesn’t.
In America Obama seems to have finally realised that he has a thirty-seven percent chance of not being re-elected (see an earlier post) and has upped his game. Has he done enough? Probably but allowing for statistical errors the opinion poles put him and Romney neck and neck. It’s probably the economy stupid but Obama might decide to bomb somebody in an attempt to appeal to floating Republican voters. There are a number of candidates although it’s probably fair to say that Russia and China aren’t among them. Favourite has to be Pakistan, simply because there would be no question of sending in ground troops and it would simply be a case of business as usual. Iran on the other hand would require the use of ground troops and anyway sanctions do appear to be biting.
Europe is still in a mess despite soothing mood music. What I reckon will evolve is a three-tier Europe. Those countries in the Euro zone are going to have to integrate more closely both politically and economically, there simply is no other way. Those who wish to join the Euro zone at a later date will have to be prepared to start the integration process and those who want nothing to do with the Euro but want the benefits of being in the EU will continue as they are. That’s the UK, in case you were wondering. I saw a forecast on the BBC website that opined by 2050 the UK would have the largest economy in Europe and would have the largest population. I may still be around to find out if that’s right but in the meantime provided the UK remains in a ‘European Free trade Zone’, then inward investment in UK industries will continue.
I recently saw a table that showed the growth of ebooks as opposed to paperback books. It also showed that for self-publishers Amazon remains the best show in town. The paperback is still alive and well but ebooks are rapidly gaining in popularity.
Speaking of self-publishing, Karno’s Casebook volume one is online and available.
Yes folks I’ve published three short (ish) stories about the early career of DCI ‘Fred’ Karno. My idea, provided the old muse cooperates, is to publish three or four short stories every couple of months. The great thing about digital publishing is that it means you could produce your own magazine at a reasonable price to the reader. My talents (and Internet connection) don’t quite stretch to an online monthly magazine but I think a collection of regular short stories at a reasonable price might have a market. We’ll see, won’t we? Once life returns to a more even keel I can settle down to writing full-length novels again. Apart from that, there is no new news on the publishing front. Emma the Agent has reported some interest in various manuscripts but keeping me in the loop is not her strongest point I’m afraid. I believe that an as yet unnamed publisher has requested the first Eliezer manuscript and she should have sent it off last week. She thought that if the first book in the trilogy was taken up then certainly book two would be as well. We’ll see.
Apologies to John for neglecting his pet project, ‘Tim Turpin’. I really will knuckle down to it John but I’m still incredibly frustrated by lack of progress on the boat front and I needed to get the Karno short stories published. Now that’s done hopefully the next few weeks should see at least a couple of chapters completed.
Anyway, that’s it for now, apologies for the silence for the last month. Let me know what you think of the short stories and of course, any reviews on Amazon sites are always welcome.