When AOL bought Time Warner, for $124 billion, in a transaction that was only completed in January 2001, the Street was abuzz about all the wonderful synergy that would result. Interestingly, this “synergy” was hardly described or even questioned, at the time.
What synergy could there be between a traditional media company and the world’s worst Internet service provider? I suppose that exclusive content could be made available to AOL subscribers on a fee basis, but this idea never got anywhere. How could it? The original idea of the Internet was FREE flow of information. Contrast this with the notion behind a media giant like Time Warner, which is CHARGING for content.
I suppose that licensed, paid mp3 downloads of the extensive Time Warner music catalog could have been proffered. And although some of this is just now occurring, it is far too little and far too late. Piracy of music copyrights is so widespread and CD burning software so good, that a visit to any college dorm room, or high school kid’s bedroom, will reveal more CD-R’s than shrink-wrapped music CD’s. And, they didn’t pay for the content, that’s for sure.
Thus, in fewer than 200 words, common sense and right reason, using facts not hidden at the time, destroy any business rationale for going ahead with the largest merger in history. On the other hand, simple greed, on the part of the deal makers, won the day–temporarily. As it now stands, AOL Time Warner shares have lost an astounding 80 percent of their value, since the two companies combined. Do you think Jack Warner would have signed off on a deal like this?
Maybe, there’s a lesson here.
On October 1, 1993, 12-year-old Polly Hannah Klaas was kidnapped at knifepoint from her bedroom slumber party, in Petaluma, California. Soon after, she was molested and murdered. In 1996, the quite unrepentant perp, Richard Allen Davis, was found guilty, and was sentenced to death. Davis, of course, was a parolee with multiple priors. Public reaction to this horrific crime was instrumental in passing California’s “three strikes” law, prescribing mandatory life terms for those convicted of a third felony. Sad to say, “three strikes” is under attack, but those familiar with the malignant obscenity that is California politics, would not find this surprising.
The Polly Klaas Foundation website makes a big point about protecting your kids by knowing their whereabouts, not leaving them alone, and the like, but does not have a whole lot to say about why human trash such as Davis are on the streets in the first place, or what can be done to remove them.
The celebrated recent cases of Elizabeth Smart, Samantha Runnion, and Casey Williamson, all involve abduction from the home. In Samantha’s case, the perp had been acquitted, by an idiotic jury, in a molestation case just last year. Short of arming every little girl, I have no idea how one can create a safer environment than her own home!
Maybe, there’s a lesson here.
While the AOL Time Warner fiasco exposes blind greed, and the “experts” leading on the sheeple, it’s only about money. Horrendous crimes against children expose something far darker. Common sense and right reason would conclude that it is simply not possible that tens of millions of abortions, and the value of innocent human life could peacefully co-exist.
The people believe the experts, God knows why, and become the sheeple. The late Richard Fariña spoke of the “prey of a foul command” nearly 40 years ago, and his words are depressingly true today.