Category Archives: Religion

Opinions are like dicks

This is going to be a weird day; I can feel it in my bones. Whenever my hair goes 180 degrees into the other direction, I know the day will be rough. It turned slightly rougher when I saw the piece by Christina Patterson in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/20/porn-warps-culture-credit-card-footprint), there are a few issues with the article as I personally see it. You see, the people have had their say on porn for the longest amount of times. For me it is one of the ‘holiest of places’ as it shows the people just how hypocrite they can get. She starts right of the bat with “Many of us can remember the shock. Naked ladies!” and that is coming from a woman who should accept the natural part of her body as… natural. OK, she added after that “In a magazine!” it merely shows you all how ignorant she actually is as she passed the half century mark (an age thing). So, if you ever go to Amsterdam, one of the musts will be the Sex Museum. You see, it is actually merely a few minutes from Amsterdam Central Station, it is one of the cheapest museums in Amsterdam to visit and it is a real eye opener. There you are confronted with paintings, sculptures and other art. Also objects like an Ivory Dildo, snuffboxes depicting porn, all items with some of them going back to the 16th century. Art covers on Vinyl’s (a 70’s thing) and even a street showing on how the red light district was and still is to some degree. It is actually informative both the adult boys and girls, and this museum is also highly recommended to visit as a couple. So when she goes on about “But, still, to see those naked ladies, as you giggled with your friend, was a shock“, we can say that this is fair enough. Not everyone feels comfortable seeing nudity. So as we see “porn has moved on a bit since then” we need to correct her a little. There are pornography shots going back to the 1900’s taken with the earliest cameras. Consider that Playboy started in 1953 and Penthouse in 1965 and July 1974 saw the beginning of Hustler. The growth for more explicit pictures was not just uncanny; the entire Sexual revolution in the 70’s gave the start for a porn empire of magazines and classifieds that grew into a multi-billion dollar industry within 20 decades. Now, Christina is certainly allowed her views in all this. Yet, the hypocrisy is actually seen when you know more about the background of certain things and just like the age of hypocrisy grows, the church gets involved (as I see it, it fuelled it). So it is time to get back to Larry Flynn to give it a certain ambiance. To get the sides right we need to add that in August 1933 Jerry Lamon Falwell Sr. was born (not named senior at birth though), a conservative and an American Southern Baptist Pastor, a ‘so called’ pillar of the community. The man was in the eyes of certain people hypocrite, now we can say that most televangelists tend to be hypocrites to a certain degree, yet this man took it beyond normal measures. So when we read some of his idea’s (idea’s that he is allowed to have) and we see “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals” as well as “If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being“, you can imagine how some will react. By the way, I have met both Hindu’s and Muslims who have shown more what some call ‘Christian values’ (like helping thy neighbour, care for the weak and be charitable) than most Christians EVER will. So there!

In all this Larry Flynn saw in this man a valid target to ridicule some of the hypocrite values that were shown, the entire matter had gone to court over and over until it got to the Supreme Court in 1988, here we get Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), which ended in an 8-0 unanimous decision for Larry Flynn. You see, when you see the quote “According to a report commissioned by the NSPCC last year, about half of 11- to 16-year-olds have seen explicit sexual material online. They were, the report said, more likely to find it accidentally than to seek it out“, I would like to remind certain members of the hypocrite political branch that they merely did this to themselves. To explain that, I have to take you back to the early 90’s. The internet was no longer Arpanet and started to take off. It was around 1993 when certain parties had a first issue with adult entertainment. It was growing like wildfire and anyone with knowledge of HTML could get a nice paid job in that industry instantly. Which was in the days when security was a decent joke and those in the know around it did not need a subscription, merely the IP number and the right path to the art and you could easily save the directory with all the artwork (awesome access in early internet days). Yet the serious vendors in this industry understood certain values and were willing to talk around certain domains, providing that there would be no restrictions beyond that. Of course certain conservative players were all in arms (because the pastor called them) and the so called hypocrite god fearing community ware all in opposition even before the day ended. You see, these people living in pretence of having virtues and moral principles pleaded the immorality of porn and then went to the nearest hooters and after a few beers would seek out the closest hooker to get a blow job (speculative thought). Yet that one moment, the option when the adult industry wanted their own part in responsibility (.XXX had been voiced) we see the church who opposes that and subsequently fucks the choirboys in whatever hole they could, which is less speculative as the Catholic church is confronted with sexual abuse numbers that exceed 100,000 abuse victims in the US alone. That has been one of the driving forces on immorality. The movie Spotlight (with Michael Keaton & Mark Ruffalo) gives only part of the issue, all true, based on clear evidence from the investigative reporting of the Boston Globe. At present, in Australia over 4,000 alleged cases exist. With 90% of them boys with the average age being below 12 (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-06/child-sex-abuse-royal-commission:-data-reveals-catholic-abuse/8243890), so whilst we see that as implied the political branch was all up in arms, they took advice from a collection of paedophiles. Great job!

So in the early 90’s there was an option to give less options to accidently get to these adult entertainment places, yet now we see the other part in all this. If ‘sex sells’ than advertising would be more valuable there. So when the world gets to live with the factor that one domain would be (speculatively estimated) well over 60% of all traffic, how much value would the other places have for advertisement?

The second issue is seen with “Expert witnesses told the women and equalities committee last year that girls are now wearing shorts under their skirts, in an attempt to survive the “normalised culture of sexual harassment in schools”. Children, in other words, are being stripped of their childhoods“, this is indeed pretty awful. Yet when we see the Netherlands we get (at http://www.ad.nl/binnenland/overheid-heeft-pedofilie-jarenlang-gedoogd~a870a359/), the title gives the goods ‘Overheid heeft pedofilie jarenlang gedoogd‘, which translates to “the government has silently accepted paedophilia for years” (there is a fair issue that the translation should be ‘tolerated’ and not ‘silently accepted’ which is my take on the issue as it was given), the entire mess is partially to blame on a political and police system that preferred to remain in denial, perhaps the names Jimmy Saville & Garry Glitter ring a bell in the UK?

So when Christina comes with her (validly allowed) view of “Oh, and users may be asked to give credit card details, and perhaps even be charged a small fee. A fee that might appear on a bank statement that might, for example, be seen by your wife“, I see her as no more than a condescending tart. You see, that is exactly the problem how the issue is not avoided, not solved, but would allow for the issues to be pushed towards ‘somewhere else’. So, as some firms will offer photo forums on Dark web (some extreme players already do), she is basically setting the stage for more wide stream groups to go to Dark web too. The problem there is that there will be no oversight and even less control of who goes there or what they will see and face. That was a really bright idea from Sandra Dee Patterson (not!). The entire issue could have been averted well over 20 years ago, but she is now upping the ante by having even less control, less insight and less oversight, and close to no monitoring options. The dangers that these high school boys and girls will get the pictures of boys and girls through their smartphone to the Dark web would speculatively go up 10 fold as the investigating parties do not have an overview and even less options to monitor and retrieve Dark web events. This adds up to more dangers and less protective options for the people actually in the line of work of trying to protect victims.

So even as Christina does not have a husband, she made matters optionally worse for millions of wives and double the amount of worry for these mothers, a real bright move Christina! Yet it is her view and she is entitled to it.

So now we get to the funny part with “It’s possible, of course, that people watch this stuff and remain loving partners and pillars of society. It’s more likely that they don’t. It’s possible, of course, that people watch this stuff and remain loving partners and pillars of society. It’s more likely that they don’t. I’ve interviewed a number of men whose porn addiction, and sexting habits, have lost them their marriage, their jobs and their homes. These are the extremes, of course, but there’s not much doubt that porn is changing our culture whose porn addiction, and sexting habits, have lost them their marriage, their jobs and their homes. These are the extremes, of course, but there’s not much doubt that porn is changing our culture“, you see, it is funny as the mention of ‘I’ve interviewed a number of men‘, how many? You see, places like Pornhub have around 15 million unique visits a day, so at best she has talked to 0.00006% of that population ever, so as 99.99994% is unknown, how did she get any real feel of what that population is like? there is no doubt in my mind that the largest part reflects near adult (or recently adult) boys with hormonal drives and more likely than not with speedy hands, there is also a growing trend (as speculated by others) that the amount of women taking a peek is a lot larger now than it was 5 and 10 years ago. Yet the largest group will soon outgrow this phase and as these young man end up with a girl happy to spend time in a bedroom or any room naked with them their need will focus on actual sex than watching it (just my speculation on the matter).

The next quote is actually important. As she states “The internet has already changed so much of our culture. We rage. We shriek. We hate. We do this in the name of “free speech”. We buy things with a click. We swipe for sex. We want instant everything, all the time. And we want it all to be free“, she hits the large nail with a slightly too small a hammer, because it is not merely on the free content, it is the question on how the content was acquired. This is a larger issue than you think. Some will give 10 pics free and hope that the person subscribes for $10 to see the 89 other photos and an additional movie with 1080p for any computer or mobile device, as well as a million fold more images and movies for a mere $10 a month. Sex sells so as 99 might not go there, 1 will and 1% of 15 million visitors still adds up to a massive amount of money, it easily sells itself. Yet the part that she ignores is that when the people go to the Dark web, the origin of the photos will be less straightforward. It could be the old BBS ‘peer to peer system’, when you upload one movie (or photo) you get to download ten additional movies. So how long until these people let’s say in year 12 start finding ways to get some unclad pictures of young women? That is the danger that parents are more than likely to face. When it was all on the up and up there was some option of monitoring and control, I fear that certain pushes in the UK will start to push in very wrong directions.

In the end the idea of age proof is not bad, it might even be good, yet the way around it will need some very diplomatic and technological hands, because it is not merely how it is done, the idea that junior gets a hold of dad’s credit card and personal details is not really that far-fetched, so how long until the debating parents on issues of ‘perversion’ realise that it was junior all along? As I see it, the idea is not bad, you merely need to go around it another way on getting an anonymous database system that could function as a non-repudiation system that merely require the need to set the premise of 18+, which is actually a fair system in light of the other opportunities wasted by those who looked at the bible and chose Luke 12, John 9 and Mark 10 to get their jollies off. There is however one upside (apart from the 18+), as we are more and more pushed to the new IPv6, when that happens we could revisit the entire 1993 event and allow a part of IPv6 to be unmonitored and explicitly for adult entertainment. By the way, which is also good to know is that some of the adult entertainment players wanted some sort of segregation to keep it safe away from children, so in that Christina is pretty much on their side with “It’s children they were trying to protect, and the only way to protect those children is to make all users of online porn leap through a few hoops“, in that, that in those days there would have been option to for example to add .XXX to a sort of ‘child lock’ system as US cable TV had (which would have been the next step in the US with AOL), this made sense as AOL grew from 200,000 uses to 34,000,000 in the height of their now no longer existing empire. Yet at that point there was a good option to get a handle on issues, but the uppity religious hypocrites pushed them into the WWW at any address they could, some even merely living through IP addresses.

We can never totally avoid that the wrong people (age wise) go there, yet in all this we can avoid the chance of people going there accidently. We merely need to accept as it has been proven through the centuries that some claim that our heavenly father came up with all that lives and grows and on the 7th  day, either Adam or Eve (not pointing fingers here Adam!), one of the two came up with adult entertainment.

So in the end, opinions are like dicks and perhaps in this I am a dick at present, yet as I see it, when we see that porn has been around for well over 4,000 years, it is time to stop being huffy, puffy and stupid around it. If protecting children was truly the only concern, the bulk of the Catholic Church should be in prison spending double digits in Sing Sing. This reminds me of A Jimmy Carr joke, ‘the innocent members of the College of Cardinals were questioned on the issue of Sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church; they were both sickened by the notion!‘ (The College of Cardinals has 225 members). If the politicians got religion out of all of this (and especially the linked hypocrisy) we could have had protective solutions for the longest of times, so focussing on a solution that works, instead of some half-baked system that allows for conceited stigmatisation, we could actually get somewhere, yet at present, when we see how certain parties play their media game, the dangers are growing to an overwhelming rate that in the end, more and more adult entertainment internet sites are pushed into the Dark web, next to the actual sleazy extreme adult sites that upsets the bulk of the entire planet. It will push too many under aged people there too, the one place where they suddenly have additional optional access to weapons and drugs in their raised hormonal state, a dangerous escalation to say the least.

 

 

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Silence in our hearts

There is no avoiding it. There was an incident in London and this is not some ‘I told you so‘ moment. This is the moment when we need to remember is the 1st of September 1939. That was the date that the war on Germany was pronounced by the act of invading Poland. This is the moment the people had enough. Neville Chamberlain mentioned on the 30th of September 1938 the phrase “Peace for our time“, that fateful day that he held a piece of paper that unlike Celeste value, no longer had value. Those pieces of toilet paper would later be known as ‘the Munich Agreement‘ and the ‘Anglo-German Declaration‘. It took another 11 months for the war to start; I am stating that we are now moments away to be in that same position. Not some dubious moment of diplomacy. This is where we go into any nation that has Islamic State fighters. We kindly tell these governments to get out of the way or be destroyed together with Islamic State. There will be no borders, no disputed ground. If it holds Islamic State, we will come and we will kill whoever is there. You can hide behind Human Shields; we will no longer stop, give consideration or give opportunity. We have come to kill you and your children. We are no longer waiting for the diplomats who failed us again and again; we will no longer await the need of politicians to give one final option. We seek war, because we want it now!

This is not just about the seven dead and the dozens that were injured. This is because this has been going on for too long in too many places. We kindly request, that the French armed forces join us in this upcoming endeavour. We hunt, we get to them. I feel certain that Legio Patria Nostra is every bit as ready as all the other legions and all the other branches. This is where we change the game from intelligence in just hunting and killing. I feel certain that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would welcome our arrival. According to Indonesia there are now 1200 IS militants in the Philippines. So let’s start to clean Marawi, and we will happily include Maute in the death toll. They have now resorted to using children; we will come like Hell’s winter to remove them from life. This is because the right of life no longer applies to anyone who is Islamic State. We see too much inactions as ISIL executed anyone who was unable to quote the Quran.

No worries, we will not require a reading test. In case of ISIL, the literate and dyslexic are both equally worthless. I do not care for the political excuse: “It’s Ramadan, it will be over soon“. No, I have several Muslim friends; they suffer (read: are fasting) through the Ramadan day and remain in peaceful loving union of their friends and family in the evening. This is shown in even more daring ways, if we can accept the news in the National today (at http://www.thenational.ae/world/southeast-asia/filipino-muslims-shield-their-christian-friends-in-bold-escape-from-extremists). Here we see: “More than 200 civilians walked out of the besieged Philippines city of Marawi in a daring escape from their Islamist captors, concealing dozens of Christians and saving them from almost certain murder“, that is an action that counts, which gives an annoying silence in our hearts when we contemplate the words by Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO. We get the quote “NATO allies are now, in many ways, contributing to a very important fight that will take time, to defeat ISIL and extremists“. ‘It takes time‘ because you aren’t going to war, you are trying containment. There is a tactical difference. There was once a tactical advantage to that, but that time is gone. If there is one clear revelation seen from the attacks on Paris, London and Baghdad. Is that containment no longer hacks it. It is time to go on an actual assault with the clear intent to decimate the numbers of ISIS/ISIL.

The third front in the Philippines is happening and it is time to show them what we are capable of. This is not some: ‘let’s not wake up some people‘. No, this is now the clear moment where we are awake and may whatever god you pray for show mercy, because we no longer will!

So, are you now in a state of: “What on earth is happening now?“, then consider this the clarion call for war! The locations in the Philippines, Syria, France, UK, Somalia, Libya and Egypt (Sinai) are an initial focal point. If we decimate their existence in these 6 places, we not only turn the tide, soon thereafter deaf ears will get pleads of mercy from ISIS/ISIL trying to strike a dialogue. At that point it is our side that gets to decimate a little longer, so that they will finally realise that terrorism will never ever work. At best you a get a little limelight, at worst you wake up a monster. Guess what! The second is now a reality. This is not just within me, not just some rage of anger (which is actually partially true). This is the call of people who have had enough of high paid politicians and executives giving long speeches with term like ‘it takes time‘, time that has been wasted since the beginning of the Syrian war where everyone did almost nothing and where the US suddenly had no way of telling who started the Chemical attack, even with all the satellites there, they just could not tell. Well, we know who attacked London and let’s actually do something about that, not just talk about it, not just arrest someone; we put the hurt on the other side.

I personally believe that cleaning the Philippines is a first need. If they get an actual foothold and get traction in Indonesia we would have to face a decade of war in South East Asia, with a realistic chance that ISIS/ISIL growth in Brunei becomes an actual danger. Now we get to part 2 of this, which is seen in ‘Donald Trump berates London mayor over response to terror attacks‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/04/trump-berates-london-mayor-sadiq-khan-terror-attacks), the Lord mayor of London correctly replies with: “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks“, which is correct. As stated, I am not in some rant; I am in a tactical mode, showing certain high paid players the error of their errors of inaction. If we add the responses by President Trump then I will need another 25,000 words and I just cannot be bothered with that. That is unless the Chancellor of my University will accept it as a thesis. The thesis ‘stupidity of a President‘ might find an appreciative audience in the social sciences, the drama department and the entertainment groups. It might not be of any use to those trying to get a master in Diplomacy, but that is at present not a requirement I reckon. You see, Sadiq Khan as the Lord Mayor has an organising responsibility and a political responsibility. That is why he was elected. I have been in a war mode, in military tactical analyses and looking at where to strike. OK, I am not getting paid for it, but those who are seem to be either silent or allegedly ignorant at what needs to be done. That last one might actually be a wrong assessment. It might be the situation that ‘they do what they are allowed to do as ordered by the political branch of government‘. Is that not the part we forget? The military cannot act against those who attack the UK, because the politicians are desperately seeking a non-military active solution. I believe that we passed that point by at least 5 years. I think we have hit rock bottom when it is the terrorist organisation Hezbollah that is telling Riyadh to seek dialogue and negotiations. I am willing to give a little leeway to Hamas trying to talk to the high officials in Egypt, yet if there is any continuation of rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel, their options will be removed. Yet here too we have issues as Palestinians (not confirmed members of Hamas) have been fighting alongside ISIS in the Sinai, yet the result might he as harsh as we need it to be. We can argue high and low, but in the end, we merely need to consider if we are willing to get our less militant way of life back. ISIS/ISIL will make that impossible. Anyone making any mention that there could be talks is merely deceiving themselves and those around them. We know that war is not a nice thing and that it is the beginning of a lot of ugly things, yet in all this, we did not start this. We might not be entirely innocent, yet we have forever been willing to talk, that path is no longer there because the attackers removed the option. The question becomes: ‘Can we submit to a war‘ that stops it, or will we be confronted by politicians and high brass that implies that ‘fucking around‘ is the better path. If they do, please tell them to submit evidence on when that approach ever worked. I am willing to bet that the number of successes can be counted on the fingers of a man who had his hands removed.

So yes, there is at present silence in my heart. Not because of what happened, but because what needs to be done. There is no validity to rejoice, because only the truly insane rejoice at a war where they have to pick up the weapons to act. That is a political fiasco of an entirely different nature. When your enemy has decided to use children to fight in this war, we can only feel a pain in jour heart to fight, but that is the part we have to do, because we need to be able to spare our children such actions.

 

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The fools errant

At times we all like to poke a little fun at government officials. Not in a vile way, like throwing a pie in the face of Theresa May, but one of those gestures one does to see if anyone was paying attention. A fine moment from my side was in October 1981, when I discovered a box in the archives. A box overlooked, forgotten. It was filled with envelopes. So when I read the little blighter, my eyes lighted up like little sapphires, the demon in my head grabbed the pitchfork, stabbed it in my brain and shouted to my inner-self and shouted: ‘Do it pussy! Be a man, and show those Major Wanker and Captain Caveman characters that they are asleep at the wheel‘. And so in October 1981, the Dutch Defence education garrisons (their edition of Sandhurst and so on) received the financial updates not in the usual progressive ‘Ministry of Defence’ brown envelopes, but in envelopes with the same colour stating ‘Ministry of War’. I believe we should all get a wakeup call every now and then. Perhaps it made them laugh, perhaps it made them question the events of that day, yet the chances are that they never even noticed it. Just my little frolic with chaos, no harm intended, and unless they got a paper cut from that envelope, my mission was a complete success.

So as some consider this to be a fool’s errant, immature, or even degenerate. Consider how Duncan Lewis feels when gets to deal with people like Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt, people you don’t want to have to deal with on any given day. Those two have a reliability factor that is lower than the reliability of a water heater turning milk into quality butter. It just ain’t gonna happen. The issue is seen in The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/31/asio-chief-says-radical-sunni-islam-creates-terrorists-not-being-a-refugee). Their attack is at “people become terrorists because they adhere to a violent interpretation of Sunni Islam, not because they are refugees“. There is enough evidence but I will get to that soon enough. What is a little upsetting that “former prime minister, Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis was tiptoeing around the subject“, now the important word is ‘former‘, perhaps he is trying to get serious politics again, yet decided to take the silly road to get there. The quote “Hanson later told 2GB the response from Lewis at estimates was “not what the Australian public want to hear”” gives us more to roll our eyes against. The article gives us a few other parts and ends with: “He said he had no intention of appearing contemptuous of Hanson’s line of questioning: “The point I am making is we need to stick to the facts.”“. To that I would suggest that her existence is mere contempt to life in general, but that might just be me.

It is the ‘stick to the facts‘ that needs adherence and rightly so. In this article we see a gem that I have never considered before, mainly because of two reasons. The first is that I have no way of seeing the different versions of Islam in a person, when a Muslim passes me; I have no way of telling. For the same way, if another Australian or Brit passes me, I cannot tell if they are Catholic, Church of England, Protestant, Lutherans, Agnostic or Atheists, they all smell roughly the same, and according to certain tribes in Papua New Guinea, they all taste like chicken.

So it is my surprise that the media at large, with ‘stick to the facts‘ have never done a proper big data analysis of the known acted terrorists and which school of Islam they belonged to. The article implies that even the dim witted Pauline Hanson has never gone in that direction. Is that not interesting? In my view, I think that such an analyses would be of great interesting importance, yet in equal measure we must understand that the Islamic population of Australia comprises a mere 2.2%, so we might find a much better significance when we analyse a certain political party against the chances that they resort to discrimination. I mean, from a personal point of view, why anyone would try to abolish The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in the first place is more than a small mystery. Now, as I started my story with my little demon issue, I need to take a look at Duncan Lewis too. With former director David Irvine we could go with: ‘The man looks like a librarian, what does he know about field intelligence?‘ we got none of that on current director Duncan Lewis. His rank is Major General, held numerous posts all over Europe and still looks like he could take on Anthony Mundine before lunch and get in a few decent punches. The only opposition between him and me might be that I outrank him at present through seniority (I have been a citizen for much longer than he has). Yes, that was a little funny!

So when we get back to the facts, we have two issues. The one is the extreme Sunni-Islam issue. Not the mention of it, but the mere fact that I have never seen anything in the media looking at that part. In equal measure, we have not seen any details on any of it in the European escalations in the UK and France. In addition, there is one part of Australian exposure as our exposure tends to be mostly Indonesian, Pakistani and Philippines as I currently see it. I will admit upfront that I have no idea how the different schools of Islam propagate over the Muslim nations, but the fact that we see a revelation in a short Guardian piece and nobody jumps on it, showing clear data in opposition, or a windbag response that this is not what Australians want to hear, I state: “Can we get clear data on this?” I think the people have a right to know and as I see it Director Lewis was not really tiptoeing around any issue, he was giving a fact. Now the Guardian gave us elements, yet when we consider: “Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis, was tiptoeing around the subject. “Asio has to command the confidence of the Australian community, and that’s why you’ve got to be open and upfront about these things”“, I agree, which is why I am not stating that Director Lewis is wrong or incorrect, merely that we would like to see a decent amount of evidence, not just a local view, but projected against the global numbers and theatres of events. Is that such a strange concept, more important, why did none of these so called journo’s (read: Andrew Bolt) show either in opposition evidence of the incorrectness of Director Lewis, or in support of the comment ‘be open and upfront‘. I can tell you now, that in order of priority, the Australian population at large has three priorities. Get wasted, get laid and get high. So as for the ‘gobsmacking’ and upfront view, the two jokers in this farce majeure as I would call it are the elected Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt.

Another part is “We have had tens of thousands of refugees come to Australia over the last decade or so and a very few of them have become subjects of interest for Asio and have been involved in terrorist planning“, which is something we all have seen to some degree. One of my classmates was a refugee, she was proud to be a student, proud to be a graduate and the first in her family history to have completed a tertiary education. This is where we see the bulk of the refugees, to build a happy and healthy family and a decent prospective future, which is pretty much the dream of the bulk of all 8 billion people on this planet. When we see this against Andrew Bolt who according to a source stated of some former event: “The document I seek is a list of links to articles related to “global-warming”, “climate-change”, “CO2” and “coral bleaching” that represent the sceptical view of those respective debates – as presented by the ABC on all its platforms. I have listened, viewed and searched for years and I’ve not found any sceptical articles on the ABC’s platforms“, that whilst even a simple search Bing.com (Bing of all places) on page 1 gives us a few examples. And when we look beyond ABC, we get even more options. So what was the ‘sceptical view‘ in all this? A view Andrew could relate to? Perhaps an intentional way to filter data, so that no exact match would be found? I am at a loss, so as we see him doing some tiptoe event around climate-change, or is that around Coral bleaching? Anyway, it seems to me that the only one not doing the tip toe, the tap dance or the jive is the one, the only, the Duncan Lewis himself!

In all this Pauline Hanson is even more of an issue, she should know better and if not, she has no business being an elected official. The one thing that sets her apart is that as the Ginger Neanderthal, she might think she has something in common with Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone, yet the latter two have qualities like wisdom, cute and endearing. Elements that Pauline Hanson clearly does not seem to have in my personal opinion. So as the Sydney Morning Herald claims that “Counter-terrorism experts have overwhelmingly backed spy boss Duncan Lewis“, I feel that I have to add that on a global level data analysts, the refugee volunteers at the refugee camps and immigration specialists will all come to the very same conclusion that the Spy boss is right. Is that not interesting too? On a planet so diverse, people in groups so far apart in acts and responsibility on their different workplaces would come to the very same conclusion? As we see these numbers we are confronted with the figurative notion that the chances of finding a Wall Street trader with integrity is larger than finding a terrorist in a refugee camp. When the numbers sway to such a degree, how lost was the cause of the opposition to Duncan Lewis in the first place?

As I see it, if she had done her homework properly she might have propelled forward through meaningful dialogue, but that is the flaw in my reasoning, when a view is as extremist as One Nation, meaningful dialogue would never have been on her agenda. It is reflected in the Sydney Morning Herald quote “some acknowledged he and Senator Hanson may have been talking at cross-purposes” (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/if-asio-dont-know-nobody-knows-terror-experts-back-spy-chief-over-pauline-hanson-20170530-gwg2hu.html) yet, again as I personally see it, she might have been intentional about the cross-purposes of this and in finality when we consider the global response and the expertise at that table, it would have been far better for Tony Abbott not to get involved in this to the degree he did, which is a tactical flaw on his side for certain.

So as I end my fool’s errand in all this, we need to consider the quote from Greg Barton “Lewis is seeing a much bigger and clearer picture than any of us,” Professor Barton said. However, “he should have unpacked more of what he was saying”, so as not to imply there was “zero connection at all” between migration and terrorism“, which is only partially correct from my point of view. I agree that stating more regarding any available statistics as Sunni versus other extremism, he is also correct that ‘zero’ is an undesired number as it tends to be statistically flawed, yet that invokes a long ongoing debate (wasting the time of EVERYONE) between ‘too insignificant’ and ‘zero’, terms the politicians hide behind at a moment’s notice, yet offer it on the table at the blink of an eye to make other people waste their times.

As for my next fools errant in the classification of ‘prank‘, I will take my copy of a Vatican work order, make a really close representation of the autograph of the man in the white outfit in the Vatican, and watch the reaction of the security guard in the Sistine Chapel as he reads that I have been ordered to paint the ceiling white. I’ll just sit back relax and watch chaos unfold, the next Aprils Fools day is 305 days away and I cannot wait that long, because that is how I roll!

It will be my homage to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who decided to paint the roses red.

 

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The hard-line path

Over the last days we have seen an increased voice of extremist call by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. The question now becomes, how will the internal struggle change the game for Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran. The NY Times gives us (at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/world/middleeast/iran-election-hassan-rouhani.html) the issues that play. “He badly needs to demonstrate progress on overhauling the moribund economy”, which is just one of several quotes. Yet the danger is not in the achievements, the issue now is that someone else will get the seat to the presidency in less than 4 years. The optimism could go straight out of the window sooner than we think. The hard-line of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen everywhere and even as President Rouhani is on his last term, the ayatollah is not. The news we see now, the beats and shouting of ‘Saudi Arabia’s rulers faced “certain downfall” for aligning themselves with the US‘, as well as ‘Saudi Arabia is a ‘cow being milked’ by US, says Iran’s supreme leader‘ is now getting a louder view and voice, whilst they are positioning Saudi Arabia as the oppressor of Islamic faith, whilst he throws Bahrain and Yemen into the mix. As we see the news, the issue that President Trump remains in opposition of Iran, causes additional worries. Unless the US is willing to go into a direct war with Iran, the only thing their diplomatic corps is achieving is to set the population against the US, in this what was regarded as a moderate, President Rouhani is now on the edge of finding a moderate continuation through a successor, whilst the Ayatollah is finding new ways to instil conservative values, undoing what President Rouhani has achieved. In all this the ‘progressive’ approach of Europe, with their nuclear program for Iran, lifting all sanctions and other ‘path improvements’ are soon to be a new cause for concern. I made that point 2 years ago in my blog when I mentioned the need for caution as the world was still getting past the idea of a post-Ahmadinejad era. I was clear in my warning that no matter how moderate the new president is, the hardliners might get another Ahmadinejad into play, that would change the status by a lot.

In addition, Forbes gave us the following a mere 4 days ago.

  • Sent over 3,000 to the gallows and escalated domestic crackdown,
  • Increased its export of terrorism through Shiite proxies across the Middle East,
  • Boosted the Levant dictator Bashar Assad in his massacring and displacing millions of innocent Syrians,
  • Supported the IRGC in test launching a significant number of ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and harassing US Navy vessels in international waters,
  • Increasing Tehran’s support for the Afghan Taliban, according to the The Washington Post,
  • Made having dual nationality a threat, as experienced by too many hostages

In addition, we get “For hard-liners and their affiliates — including the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Basij, the judiciary and the Intelligence Ministry — Rouhani is more helpful in achieving their major objectives“, which is given by Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy and president of the International American Council.

The question becomes, on how Iran sees facilitation and how they consider it is used by Iran in Europe, because the limitations that hindered serious facilitation by Iran in the past are all but gone. The overly optimistic people (called politicians with a personal agenda), have paved a very dangerous path. They will be in denial, yet the parts that are clearly showing is that President Rouhani has been more and more outspoken in certain regards, which as the president of Iran he should be allowed to do, yet it is an extremely outspoken anti-Saudi Arabia view. This is happening whilst the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has now finished a third underground missile production factory. And whilst I note upfront that I have no ballistic experience, which means that I am not an Aussie electrician (jab at: ‘Aussie electrician charged with helping IS develop missile capabilities’), yet what some sources have not mentioned is that the commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, is the very same person who boasted rocket aid to Hezbollah as well as the mention that the Iranian missiles can reach Israel. In addition, we have the threat: “Hajizadeh explained that if the Zionist regime attacks Iran, it will be destroyed. He said, “If those people make a move, it will hand us a justification to wipe them off the face of the earth“, this part actually needs additional footnotes. The link is at https://www.juancole.com/2012/07/hajizadeh-if-israel-attacks-iran-it-will-be-destroyed.html, and it is good to read as it addresses a few issues. In all this Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh gives a clear address to a reaction, with the reinforced ‘when Israel attacks’, so the General states to only act in retaliation, he states he would not act in a first strike. I can accept that, although my rusty Arabic is set at 0%, so if the original text was a recipe to make spicy lamb, I would not be able to tell the difference. Yet in all this, the subterfuge will be missed. Even as we accept that the General is a devoted Muslim with a love for his country and a devotion to live to highest standards, how many hard-line Iranians would it take to create the wrong intelligence and the missiles would get fired towards Tel Aviv anyway? Do not even consider that this cannot happen, with a closed system and with Iranians that have the mental drive that Ahmadinejad had, how many would it take to set the system to give the decision makers the wrong intel? America has had its share of miss-presentations. Perhaps some of you remember Colin Powell and his suitcase with evidence of weapons of mass destruction in 2003. How did that go over? The reality is that Iran has an environment where the hardliners get to be in power again and again. Whenever that is not the case, there is enough time to debunk and diminish the work that moderate minded Iranians achieve. As there is a military power core, a religious power core and a political power core, it requires only two hardliners too grab the power via elections. We already know that the Ayatollah is a devout hardliner, which means that they are one step away from another hard-line elected rule. This is the reality that was and Europe has opened up additional paths for that future to return in the future, intentional or not does not matter.

This all matters in a second phase too. Even as we see news by tabloids and not by actual newspapers, the news given is that Jeremy Corbyn, the man who wants to be in charge of Labour UK and is electable, that person attended a ceremony honouring terrorists, the wreath was laid at the grave of one of the PLO terrorists that killed the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes, all killed during the 1972 Olympics at Munich. The fact that it is in several tabloids is why i am mentioning it. The issue in addition is why the actual newspapers have no mention of it. The sun gives us ‘FRIENDS LIKE THESE Jeremy Corbyn called banned terror group Hamas ‘serious and hard-working’ after admitting attending wreath-laying ceremony for Palestinian killer‘, so as I am in some confusion on why anyone wants to be that stupid, the fact that multiple sources are making mention on it, the larger danger becomes on why anyone would allow Jeremy Corbyn to get elected, especially as he gives ‘value‘ to a terrorist organisation, so as we now wonder who is briefing him and who would be this stupid. I am trying to make very sure that I am not facilitating fake news. There is additional evidence as he the Telegraph gives additional links to Channel 4 news (2015 event). Whenever I try to go deeper, they seem to refer to the 2015 event. This now calls to question on how Corbyn got to be in charge of the Labour in the first place. It should make the party feel really happy. The fact that it now reaches the limelight again seems to be political gaming, yet the worry is real, do you want someone in charge who gives voice to a group that is regarded as a terrorist group in several nations. Even as MI5 is looking into the events before the Manchester bombing and what signals are missed, the UK is now contemplating setting the person who put a wreath at the grave of one of the Munich murderers at the helm of Britannia. it is like making Alex DeLarge minister of Justice (Clockwork Orange reference). It seems like really not the best way to go about making Britain stronger. Yet in all this, there is an underlying pressure. You see, these elements unite as there is a push to find a way to make the UK-Iran link a stronger one. As the UK peers urge to make these policies stronger and better, the report gives within the title ‘Time for New Realism‘, in this as additional ties to Palestine are called for, the UK is setting the unique part in distancing itself more from the US in an anti-Trumpism move, yet in addition, it will create a wall between the UK and Israel. The report has loads of wisdoms, and even propagates my own view in different words. As they state: “We have a new and uncertain American policy in the region…We can no longer assume America will set the tone for the West’s relationship with the Middle East“, which was voiced by me differently as I stated in the past: “The United States is no longer a superpower, with the national debt (now at $20 trillion) setting the stage of labelling the United States as a bankrupt nation“. Its inability to set a proper economic stage has left the United States with a lack of options. there is little cause to take notice on what the United States administration shouts as it cannot afford any actions, this is also what North Korea seems to realise as it commences missile test after test, with test missiles entering Japanese territorial waters (Sea of Japan). As Japan urges China to act, which we could consider to be an act by a nation as bankrupt as the United states are, we need to also realise that China is an actual superpower and Japan is not. As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed actions, we will need to see what actions the Japanese will actually take, the 3rd US nuclear aircraft carrier now entering North Korean waters, we also see that the US is opting for sanctions and diplomatic pressures. We can assume that this is the best way to go about it and the question is for how much longer, the second speculated reason is that the US has no other options available. With the Syrian escalations still in place, getting into any war on multiple fronts is something only Napoleon succeeded in. Oh wait, no he did not, it was the end of Napoleon, having a theatre of war on multiple shores is a really bad idea, so that is also a thought to consider, but that realisation comes with the premise that unless China acts, North Korea can do whatever it wants (for now). So as we see several nations play what we call the hard line, the UK is setting the stage but is wisely playing a cautious game until after the elections, in addition, the UK peers are giving out a report that requires a shift in actions and thinking. We can oppose this, but as this report comes from the 0.1% most intelligent persons of the UK, ignoring that report is a really bad idea (read: utterly stupid path to follow), so as we get to know that report better and better, my initial thought is on how to create a really strong bridge with Israel, because if pro-Palestinian dialogues begin, there will be the need of diplomatic handholding (not in a romantic way). It is not merely because this world is not as small as we sometimes think it is. So as we see that the Brexit path is opening new terrain and in addition new paths to grow economies, we are left with the notion that as some think that the hard-line is the best path, we must realise that it is not the only path and there is much work that could be achieved, it remains a question how far it gets us all, but that is usually the notion of another path, it could open new terrain for all and in addition, there is an upside as the EU is following the US path for however long they can the others can look and evolve new options never before offered. I am still hesitant to consider any connection to Iran, yet the letting that fear stopping me from seeing where that could get us all is equally stupid. the power of fear is for many just too overwhelming. The problem then becomes, especially in light of Manchester, is the move a wise one?

Time will tell! Sometimes it is just that simple!

 

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Insomnia Rules, OK?

It is 3:30, for some weird reason, I cannot fall asleep and I have no intentions to play a game until I get tired, so what do you do? You start looking a little more intense at twitter and that’s how I got into the twitter tweets with a Human Rights Lawyer. Now, I am all for human rights, were it not for that pesky HRA at times, but that is not the issue. There actually is no issue. You see the tweet that got this all started was :

hr_tweet

The issue given was “I, for one, have always been somewhat bemused by the concept of a right to life. What about the young girl who tragically dies of leukemia? What happened to her right to life?” To be that made sense. You see, I am not against a right to life at all, I just wonder how you can set a phrase like that to law. You see, I have been on the other side of matters, so the right to life as seen as a concept where it is not under scrutiny of capital punishment, war, abortion, euthanasia and justifiable homicide is very much the core of the matter, The one part some add, mainly ‘public health care‘ is not in question in this case (it should be a given right no matter when, how or who). I am not against capital punishment and war allows for the situation where lives are lost, hence the right to life is not a given here. I feel different about abortion and euthanasia. You see, I do not agree with either pro-abortion or pro-life. They are stigmatised and polarised opposites of different currencies at time. Pro-lifers are all willing to hang an abortion doctor at the nearest tree, whilst pro-abortion seems to see it as a solution for unadulterated sex (read: exaggeration for dramatic effect), which is how I see these two players. In my view the truth is in the middle.

There are clear cases where abortion needs to be valid, yet I feel uncertain on the wisdom to where the line should be drawn, on the same issue, I see that pro-life doesn’t always have a clear case beyond their conviction. That view tends to be smitten with parts of religion and natural law, yet the full acceptance of both cannot be maintained, so a blanket pro-life abolishing abortion as a whole is equally unthinkable to me.

The best term is the worst classification

You see, for the most I am not against the concept of right to life, but the title itself is unrealistic in a few ways, making me side with the member that started ‘House of Lords member is unsure about a legal right to life‘. You see as stated, my issue makes the ‘right’ almost null and void. In that same setting, the quote “An obligation on its members not unnecessarily to hazard the safety of others” comes as a light in the dark. For the most, we have an obligation not to endanger the lives of others, we get this for the most when we consider the military. They get to endanger themselves and defend that life by taking the lives of those who endanger that life. In this age of terrorism and extremism (like that place you can find on historical maps, namely Aleppo).

A pro-life polarisation cannot survive, and as such the right to life comes under attack and whilst the attack on it might seem correct, the sentiment itself should never be under attack. We all have a right to life and at some point some people throw that right away and the blanket ‘right to life‘ cannot correctly deal with that situation, which is why the House of Lord member makes perfect sense. Yet telling all this in 144 characters was never a possibility, which is why today is all about that tweet.

The strongest opponents in all this is Capital Punishment and Euthanasia. At times I have had a much polarised view on those proclaiming justice here. You see, from my point of view, those who cannot hand out the death penalty might be hypocritical cowards. This is way too strong an expression, so let me explain this (I think I did in a much older blog). You see, we all adhere to the law. Now let’s say that we have a rounded 70% lawful and 30% criminal population, the law will take care of that, and for the most, all laws, even those who have no death penalty do that. I am fine with that. Yet the crime part is not 30%, within that group is a 0.000001% sub group that is so extreme, so willing to take the lives of others (like terrorists) that the law can never properly deal with them. So we either wait for that person to get in a court of law (which could be after the death of many more lives). So where was the right to life for those victims? We have a duty to hunt those extreme cases down and put them to death if need be, either by death penalty or by targeted killings. Now consider the number I gave. On this world, that would amount to 8,000 people. When you consider that as per last year 2,984 were on death row in the United States, the number I grasped at is not that far a reach. You see, when we holster the ‘right to life’ and the Crimes Act as golden calves onto our field of vision, worshipping that principle beyond all, is it not fair to say that these people are willing to set the victims of these extreme criminals as human sacrifices? How is human sacrifice seen in view of a right to life? As for Euthanasia, how much suffering should a person endure until he is either constantly drugged or died from pain and suffering? I am not stating that I have the wisdom, but I reckon that at times physicians need to be able to offer such an option, especially when there is no option to manage the pain or outcome.

In this regard I now need to address the issue that some call ‘justifiable homicide’. You see, just like ‘right to life’ I have an issue with that term. I am all for targeted killing, because it comes with a switch. Targeted killing is not the same and I am not sure if ‘justifiable homicide’ is legally acceptable as homicide is a clear crime in the 1900 Crimes Act (or other Common Law equivalent). You see, the term comes with this dictionary explanation: ‘the killing of a person in circumstances which allow the act to be regarded in law as without criminal guilt‘, that could apply to the act of a Sociopath or a Psychopath. Some could proclaim: “homicide is justified when it prevents greater harm to innocents“, you see, we now get dangerously close to Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven where we hear: “killing an infidel is not murder. It is the path to heaven“, which is not the only quote, I reckon that Ridley got part of one characters dialogue from Pope Urban II, who at the Council of Clermont in 1095 is witnessed to have stated: “Deus lo vult! – ‘God wills it!’“, which is my issue, as religion needs to stay far away from today’s Laws. I just feel too uneasy on something that can be ‘justified’ especially when a militant mass comes with hate speech and offs people to safe others. Targeted killing is not like that and as far as I can tell, from my legal point of view, ‘Justifiable Homicide‘ should not be allowed either. The fact that a valid action (like that of a policeman) resulted in the death of a person would always be investigated and the officer would either be prosecuted or be cleared from prosecution, these events have clear mechanics and when we resort to targeted killings, that too comes with a machine of checks and balances. Justifiable homicide could theoretically avoid some of these checks and balances and I really have an issue with that.

So as we are splitting hairs on murder versus killing, we are not digressing from the right to life, I am establishing (or trying to do so) that there is a right to life, yet people can act in ways to negate that right. This is why the member of the House of Lords struck a chord within me. I find myself in the same situation when I consider ‘right to family life’, to which I have had an issue or two in the past. I agree that a person should have the right to a family life. Yet in the same way as he/she has that right, he/she can also squander that right. It could be squandered through abuse, either sexual, physical or psychological, which now gets me on my issue with the HRA. You see, if the HRA was a piece with teeth, then there should be a majority who would allow for domestic abuse to be set within article 3 (torture) as it is a clear form of physical and psychological torture. The fact that this will not happen (and is unlikely to do so) makes me wonder why we have an HRA (or at least one lacking teeth under certain conditions), which might clearly be a short-sighted view and position from my side, yet as I saw my mother getting beaten to death when I was young, my sentiment remains to be on the right path as I personally see it.

All these thoughts resurfaced as that one tweet hit my eyes. Now, I have been following this Human Rights Lawyer and he makes great cases and sets the bar of Human Rights realistically high and it is always a delight when he has a go at everyone’s favourite piñata in the UK, Grayling.

So, I still feel that the tweet as exposed has an issue and I personally feel that I remain on the side of the member of the House of Lords, yet merely in the fact that the sentiment on right to life should exist, but I am not sure if that is what we should call it and in addition, we need to realise and accept that this right can be lost by the actions of the person who lost it. It has nothing to do with a child suffering from Leukaemia as stated, but from the acts of a person who does not respect the right to life of another, or the sanctity of a family without harm or suffering. Both laws, humane, yet I feel too humane and therefor I found them personally to be flawed.

I needed 7429 characters more than the 144 twitter offered.

 

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A New Disney

There was an Italian, who has been famous for over 125 years, he is not the first or the only famous Italian. There was this guy who came up with Pizza, There was this other Italian who thought fast Ford cars were a joke and he created Ferrari, then there was this other Italian, who made tractors, disagreed with the previous Italian and created Lamborghini. It is actually none of those. It is Carlo Lorenzini who was born 190 years ago. You might not know the name, perhaps his alternative name? Carlo Collodi! If you are still in the dark, than remember the story of a wooden boy who wanted to become a real live boy. Steven Spielberg used the notion in AI, but the original remains the best, namely Pinocchio!

Yes, the story of a wooden boy going into the world, yet as a wooden boy he was not alone, there was a little Cricket accompanying him and he would be a lot more important than your average Cricket, Jiminy was his name. Today the story is even more relevant, you see, the name Yemini Cricket might be ringing bells, but the truth of the wooden boy is there. The question becomes, who is the wooden boy?

So when I read ‘US, Britain and UN demand Yemen ceasefire within days‘ (at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/10/16/us-britain-and-un-demand-yemen-ceasefire-within-days),

Yet when I read “The United Nations envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said: “We are here to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, which will be declared in the next few hours.” Cheikh Ahmed said he had been in contact with the rebel Huthi militia’s lead negotiator and with Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government“, my recollection does not go towards the classical story, it goes to a reference a little closer to the present (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFZrKOCdHFs), the laughter applies to both the sketch and reality. Aleppo is a great example, how 5 years and 400,000-450,000 fatalities later, no solution is there, but they are still flying to places like Switzerland to talk. I wonder when we add up all the costs, how much did the taxpayer pay for this play?

A number of civilian casualties that have now surpassed the total US Military casualties, of those who died during WW2. Doesn’t that look like a clear message that massive change was required a few years ago? I reckon all the players know that, yet, having long conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose only concern is to stall so that the population can be made extinct before the resolution passes, reads a lot more like the Friends edition of Pinocchio, than the original by Carlo Collodi, where we see the conscience that is Jiminy Cricket.

So as we see the beginning of the same slow train in Yemen, I have to wonder if creating a new version of Pinocchio with Yemini Cricket is the way to go. It educates politicians as well as bring some hard needed cash towards Hollywood (or Bollywood).

So why is this different?

To one degree it is not, towards the other degree it is very much so. The problem is that both Syria and Yemen could be on the same page, no degrees of separation. In this case there are two at least. You see, Yemen has limited ties to Russia, making it less complicated, what is the issue is that the Houthi’s are actively shooting missiles at the US Navy complicating matters a lot more. It only takes one direct hit, and Yemen would technically be in a state of war with the US. Now, normally, a bankrupt nation is not that much a bother, but Yemen is not an economic or military superpower, so going against America sounds like a PR approach to get them ‘involved’. What is an issue is that Yemen, the neighbour of Saudi Arabia could get lucky at some point, what happens after the hit will be an issue, because Americans tend to get cranky when you successfully blow up something American. Interesting is that there are now multiple sources claiming that Iran is now moving towards the Red sea. An interesting story as the Red sea is on the other side of the Persian Gulf and Iranian war ships have no actual business there (which could also apply to the Americans). The question becomes how is Saudi placed into all this? Here there are issues too. There is no stating if there is even any link but the changes and the Attention that members of the Saudi government are drawing attention to themselves become a factor (speculation from my side).

One part is from the Australian Financial Review (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/middle-east/saudi-prince-mohammed-bin-salmans-shatters-decades-of-tradition-20161017-gs3yt5), where we see the title ‘Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s shatters decades of tradition‘, is not giving us the ‘goods’. The first quote is “He has slashed the state budget, frozen government contracts and reduced the pay of civil employees, all part of drastic austerity measures as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is buffeted by low oil prices“, which would be quite acceptable in one view, at least it appears that one government in this world is dealing with its budget issues, although not in the most ‘desirable’ way, when a nation is so dependent on oil, there might not be too many options. The second quote is “While vacationing in the south of France, Prince Mohammed spotted a 134-metre yacht. He dispatched an aide to buy the ship, the Serene, then owned by Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler. The deal was done within hours, at a price of approximately €500 million (roughly $720 million today)“, which implies the opposite. The question is not the cut-backs or spending spree, the issue is neither quote, it is the quote I will give now “Many young Saudis admire him as an energetic representative of their generation who has addressed some of the country’s problems with uncommon bluntness. The kingdom’s media have built his image as a hardworking, businesslike leader less concerned than his predecessors with the trappings of royalty” as well as “Others see him as a power-hungry upstart who is risking instability by changing too much, too fast“. So is the prince a go-getter or power-hungry? I cannot tell as this is all based on third degree of information, what matters is how the view and the actions will reflect the counteractions of the US and Iran in regard to Yemen. The moment the conflict results in a direct attack on Saudi grounds, what then? Iranian warships in the Red Sea would only complicate that, making a harsh response from the Saudi Military even more destabilising.

In my view there are two sides within Saudi Arabia, yet how they should be seen is another matter. I do not claim to have a proper view. I have questions. You see Mecca is an Islamic Holy city (the most important one) and it is part of Saudi Arabia, so as Saudi Arabia is the caretaker of this holy site, the involvement if Iran is more than just a small issue. Whatever they decide to escalate could have large repercussions all over the Middle East. The Sovereign State of Saudi Arabia has every right to defend it in every way possible, so Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also Minister of Defence and the youngest one in the world, which as a stat sounds nice, yet it also means that in light of other decisions, he is ready to do that what the US has been unable to do, declare war on its enemy by actually acting against them! Not that the US needed to declare war, but in light of Syria, doing anything actively would have been nice, an absence of resolution that His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is less likely to show.

What is a problem is the fact that the complications are more and more likely as days go by and that is the one spark that this powder keg does not need. Iran cannot be denied access to international waters, which will not lessen the impact. One of the elements in all this is seen in the second quote regarding the ‘power hungry’ side of it. You see, the AFR article is also mentioning “Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister and longtime counter-terrorism czar“, which is now an element in all this. You see, whatever happens next is all surrounding the need for intelligence. So whatever issues there are between His Royal Highness Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud gives wake to the Disney sequel, a tale of two princes. A new approach to the classic Dickens story where the plight of two members of the Royal family of Al Saud are protecting the Sovereign state of Saudi Arabia as well as the safety and security of all Muslims that are in and nearby Mecca. Even as the papers are expecting a ceasefire, the issue is that stalling is equally a tactic here. There is no way of telling why Iran is involving its warships in that region, other than trying to complicate matters and demanding a seat at the table of decision, which would only change the time table in the worst of ways. What the Deutsche Welle did give was the quote “the Saudi-led coalition has blamed an airstrike that killed over 140 people at a funeral ceremony in Yemen on “erroneous information” received from a “party” affiliated with the country’s embattled government“, it matters, because it gives light to the essential issue that the two princes need to rely on quality intelligence, sources that can be scrutinised. And in this matter, mentioning the yacht was to iterate that spending that money on a satellite over the area might not have been the worst personal idea I am having. And let’s face it, any prince that can claim that he has his own satellite wins the discussion with any other prince relying on yacht and status. So many have a yacht, but how many of these rich individuals (very wealthy people in general) would own their own satellite? Especially if it becomes a source of intelligence.

Of course there is a lot more to owning one’s own satellite, but I hope we can all agree that intelligence will be key in whatever escalates over the next week. My issue is that too many players have their own agenda, yet would those agenda’s be truly 100% be focussed on whatever is best for Yemen and/or Saudi Arabia? You see, oil prices are down now, but why and for how long? What happens when prices go through the roof again? What happens then? Suddenly all these political issues are all linked to the price of Oil and the profit it brings?

I do not claim to have these answers, but the fact that too many sources are not asking the questions that require asking is troubling, yet the AFR article gives us a lot more, even more than I bargained for, which is comforting to say the least. What becomes a matter of discussion is the one quote that shows the elements “People who have met Mohammed bin Salman said he insisted that Saudi Arabia must be more assertive in shaping events in the Middle East and confronting Iran’s influence in the region – whether in Yemen, Syria, Iraq or Lebanon“, giving the links that require addressing and the prince is not afraid to do just that, however it take two to dance rings around Iran and taking away its influence in the Middle East. As I see it, Riyadh will have to make changes to some degree. Counter-Intelligence will be key in dealing with Iran and the impression I get when I see a quote like “has deep ties to Washington and the support of many of the older royals” shows the speculative possibility of the older ‘let us see how this plays out‘ against the younger ‘let us get this party started through action‘. It is not about the balance, but about what works best. In that regard both princes might have to make changes a lot faster than they are comfortable with, because if the news is correct, the Iranian ships and submarines will soon be active in the Red Sea, but active to what extent is something that remains speculative, whatever they do, the fact that it includes Iranian submarine presence (as reported but not confirmed), will also raise tensions with Israel.

As I see it, the biggest issue is Iran and what they are trying to get out of it. Putting themselves in the middle of a conflict where they are now trying to imply that it is all about them (especially as they are in the Red Sea), yet is their presence less valid than that of the US? It seems to me that we are creating a new Vietnam, just not with the Russians involved (like Syria). So there are two solutions to consider. One is that the US is replaced by for example the Commonwealth, or France, which takes away the Iranian-US issues. That is, if Saudi Arabia would be willing to consider that move. No matter what, the navy that does that, could find themselves in an armed conflict with Iran, so it better be a competent and modern Navy which leaves not that many options. The Netherlands, the UK, France, South Korea and India. Giving the option to either South Korea or India would benefit, as Iran cannot spin some NATO link story. In addition Iran cannot afford to piss of too many additional nations as either could make short work of the ego of Iran as these navies decide to sink Iranian war vessels like rubber dinghies, because they pushed one button too many.

No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia must do what it can to keep safe and the Yemeni issue is one that tests many sides of those who see and witness it, because there is a dilemma in conscience. A revolution that got out of hand, a set government overthrown with its own agenda. When we see the Houthi’s slogan “God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam“, can we really show any kind of support or sympathy?

The most important part to realise is that we need to set aside our version of what is acceptable, we have seen the US and Europe at large impose their version of ‘civility’, whilst bending over, grabbing their ankles and let the financial industry quite literally get away with murder in many ways. We impose rules and expectations, whilst having no clue how to manage a budget or how to stem greed to the point of strangulation. In all this, we have given up the high ground in several fronts, so we are no lecturer with any level of confidence. It is my opinion, that the Middle East can only be decently governed by someone in the Middle East. I personally believe that Saudi Arabia should be at the centre of it, there is no doubt that it would beneficial that a coalition that would include Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, but I am not knowledgeable enough to see whether it is just them, or that other players should be seriously considered. What does matter is that both General Intelligence Directorate (GID, aka Mukhabarat) and Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate would be important in ascertaining Iran’s hostile actions and if need be counter them. From my academic point of view is the challenge that the SIGNT of the three would pose to get one coherent reporting and analytical solution on Iranian intelligence. One that would definitely benefit all three nations. Yet perhaps that will evolve into a third Disney project, which could be the next big thing. It’s all just a thought, but think it over for yourself and ask yourself the question you did not hear voiced, this is important, because this stage could get ugly in a hurry and possibly before Christmas this year.

 

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The Mary Poppins of Economy

Yes, today is about Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of the World Bank (as well as Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank). The urban dictionary tells us that the term Mary Poppins means:

  1. A well composed/happy person.
  2. To do something well/flawlessly. From the measuring tape held by Mary Poppins “Practically Perfect in Every Way.”

So if one of them was asked, how did you go on misleading the people on free trade, he could say ‘I Mary Poppins’d it!’, which gets us to the soon to be late President Obama (who as a former President won’t be able to properly time manage his calendar). As we see the quote “the president does not mention Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump by name but makes clear that he disagrees with both candidates’ opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/06/barcack-obama-america-future-economist-essay), I have to wonder if the first African American president wasn’t just a puppet for big business. We will soon see him evicted from his rental place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, United States. Yet the question becomes, what next?

You see, there is a lot wrong at present. The issue is seen in a BBC article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37580844). I have been stating it for a long time. My issue is not that I am correct, my issue in this is: ‘why fess up now?’, is it merely because there is a new administration coming in, or is it the general fear from Wall Street that Brexit is not the negative act for the UK as proven and fear mongering is no longer working and the upcoming issue that Frexit is becoming a general fear and the second exit will be enough to terminally kick over the Euro and the EEC? You see, the admission as seen in “the effects of globalisation on advanced economies is “often uneven” and “may have led to rising wage inequality”. The bank, which provides loans to developing countries, also says that “adjustment costs”, such as helping people who have lost their jobs, have been higher than expected.” It was the end station for too many people and until the grey faction (almost one third of the population) dies, this situation will not improve. On a global scale retirement funds are unlikely to exist by 2032, when it needs to give support to no less than 850 million people, giving a rise to the overall debts by close to a trillion a month. These administrations have been all about short term and now the time is getting close to the factual realisation that retirement funds will not survive the terms they need to. For those outside of Scandinavia not a good thing. Even as we see the great news in several nations, there is a factual mistrust (in me too), that the status is all it is cranked up to be. When we consider that a massive block of these people are retiring between 2025 and 2037, there is very little doubt that at present, the reality will set in no later than 2041, considering that many people will be in their 80’s at that point. The deal breaker will suddenly flare up and a massive wave of bad news will hit on a global scale. That is a speculation from my side!

This all hits back because the World Bank decided to keep people for the longest term into the dark and President Obama gives us “The world is more prosperous than ever before and yet our societies are marked by uncertainty and unease. So we have a choice – retreat into old, closed-off economies or press forward, acknowledging the inequality that can come with globalisation while committing ourselves to making the global economy work better for all people, not just those at the top.”, which just shows us how screwed up his vision is. ‘More prosperous than ever before‘ is like a joke and a bad one. The overall quality of life, after the downgrades from 2009 have never reset correctly. The amount of people who are after 5 years still waiting to see an actual increase in the quality of life is absolutely disgraceful and it goes far beyond American borders.

The two are related, not just the TPP, the TTIP in equal measure shows a level of syndication that we have seen in the pharmaceutical industry (just one of many) is almost unheard of and this is where it reflects on pensions. You see, the next 3 decades is essential for this industry, which gets us to the retirement group. Because without the TPP, or the TTIP, there will be a gap for those people to truly make a killing and that is what they want. The BBC quotes, might be relevant and correct, but they are not exactly accurate. First the quotes: “Hillary Clinton has found herself surrounded by political challengers questioning the benefits of international trade and globalisation. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent in the race for the Democratic nomination, defined his campaign by arguing that globalisation had hollowed out the US middle class“. You see, these facts are true, but the previous administrations were not about people, they are about the Walton’s and not the TV series from the 70’s. Jim Walton, Alice Walton, S. Robson Walton, Lukas Walton and Christy Walton. They are the people behind Walmart. Their fortune totalling over 122 billion dollar. Individual not as much as Ellison or Gates, but combined making both Gates and Ellison not add up to much and that is quite the achievement. You see, this is the place where people working full time still ended up below the poverty line. So, it wasn’t about the middle class. Walmart required globalisation to get cheap stuff from China (and a few other places), where people were happy to work for $2 a day to please all those Americans. Now, don’t think of me as some Karl Marx type, I believe in Capitalism, yet is also believe in fair play and not giving an inch to the greed driven. If these people are growing their fortune by 1.5 billion a year (each), getting the workers a better deal is not entirely out of bounds. Now, I have no list as to how they made the $1.5B, so there would be a fair debate here, but overall the issue remains, the people lost a lot and were not given any fair dues. Walmart might be one of the most visible ones, it is, by no means the only one.

So, as we were informed by the World Bank, a mere 5 hours ago, yesterday’s title ‘Why is globalisation under attack?‘ (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37554634), leaves us with a different taste. You see, the quote “But many people, including politicians, are now voicing their anger as they see jobs being taken by machines, old industries disappearing and waves of migration disturbing the established order“, my initial response would be ‘No Mark, you silly git, we have been voicing this for some time now!‘, you see, you are mixing issues up and not having any idea what painting you are describing. It’s almost like hearing a person state. Did you see that painting with those people with rifles? So until you are realising it is the Night Watch by Rembrandt. People will be wondering what it is about. So let’s cut up the quote by Mark Broad and look at the parts individually.

Jobs being taken by machines‘, has been an issue for the longest time, it was a worry when I was in middle school, and now I am approaching retirement. Some of it is a worry, for the most it is the time shaping global industries.

Old industries disappearing‘, is again mere evolution, old media goes out and Google AdWords comes in. The Age of Mobile is here and has been here rocking the world since 2013.

Waves of migration disturbing the established order‘ is expecting the actual fear he is trying to push. Yet, there are two waves. The economic migration and refugees fleeing for their lives. All are trying to get into Europe and our systems were never designed to administrate the relocation of 13 million refugees and none of that is about globalisation to begin with. In addition, the quote by Donald Trump given “We talk about free trade. It’s not free trade; it’s stupid trade. China dumps everything that they have over here“, which is exactly what his Walton friends wanted to begin with and that too is not the issue. What is the issue is the article that we got the next day. The quote ‘some have lost out from free trade‘ and we can easily replace ‘some‘ with ‘those not on a Fortune 500 list‘ or ‘those who are not big business‘, so when we get back to the parts that President Obama was miss-representing with “a foundation was laid for a better future. He suggests that the US should prepare for negative shocks to the economy before they occur and not have to fight for emergency measures in a time of need” he is obviously showing a lack of humour, because the fact that the TPP and the TTIP is all about big business, also means that the small fish will still go hungry and the rejection of these accords mean that unless the US gets a grip on their budgets, there is every likelihood that the US as a has been will knock on the doors of the new superpowers (China and India) whether they can have a seat at the table, with the not so unlikely chance that these two might prefer Russia over America. It leaves Europe in a stale position with not too many options for now. In the end the Commonwealth could sit at that table, but we need to see massive changes and the World Bank is not the party to be listening to. In this I would be in opposition to ‘C. Herring, George (2008), From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776‘, which was correct until the final meltdown and in addition the 20 trillion national debt was not taken into consideration either (which makes sense). In addition, we can at present say goodbye to Tony Blair’s statement of the EEC becoming a superpower, mainly because it is as broke as anything else. With Brexit that option diminished and with Frexit on the horizon, the EEC stops being an optional power of any kind. Now that Nicolas Dupont-Aignan is stronger in favour of Frexit and as Frexit is not just the words of Marine Le Pen, we will see that the width of Frexit could be dramatically increasing, moving this from optional to likely. This is a direct consequence of people seeing for over a decade on how globalisation did not bring them anything and France is an evolved nation. So they should have seen massive positive impact, yet the economic news in France has shown nothing on that for the better part of a decade. At present a still shrinking economy without any options to get it kick-started is part of the problem for France, so we see that the Mario Draghi Trillion didn’t help too much for France, so who actually did benefit?

Yet in all this, the other side given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/06/imf-and-world-bank-launch-defence-of-open-markets-and-free-trade), where we see the words of Larry Elliott, which I personally find to be out of place. You see, like with BBC Marky Mark, Larry gives us ‘Institutions react to concern that Brexit vote and calls for protectionism in US are part of a backlash against globalisation‘, which is, as I personally see it also a miss Presentation rank, so just like before let’s do some splitting.

  1. Brexit vote is part of a backlash against globalisation’, I oppose this as Brexit grew due to a stream of irresponsible acts by the EEC and those in the UK were tired of paying for that whilst the quality of life was going straight into the basement and for the most, too many UK people are still in that basement wondering what sunlight looks like.
  2. Calls for protectionism in US is part of a backlash against globalisation’, which is about crunching down on IP and forcing paths for too many IP streams (like medication patents) to the brink of additional tome and now that the gig is up, the greying population will get a hold of generic medication. In this too many pharmaceuticals were about the maximised greed and exclusivity and their timespan is now ending. They could lose over 20% of a market worth trillions, and this is not a market that they want to give up. In all this the US debt is also a factor, because whispered ‘promises’ from boards of directors are not going anywhere and the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500 doesn’t seem to get it, or he does and he is just putting on a show for the next 8 weeks as he is aiming for a 7 figure executive income. In all this, the one solution that should have been instigated (as stated by my 3 years ago) is the one nobody touches from fear that their nice jobs fall away.

The one solution that no one, not even Jim Yong Kim is discussing, is also not illuminated on CNBC, The Guardian, and the BBC or for that matter, the bulk of all media. A proper tax reform 5 years ago could have prevented many issues we see now. It would still be an issue, but the top 1% would have 10% less and the bottom 20% would not be in the poverty they are now in. All because the big fat cats were all about the status quo of the markets, the status quo of their lives and the growth of what they needed to have. When we see some weird level of justification in Obama’s words “That’s why CEOs took home about 20 to 30 times as much as their average worker. The reduction or elimination of this constraining factor is one reason why today’s CEO is now paid over 250 times more“, when the fact clearly shows that within 3 administrations on a CEO level their incomes went up by close to 700%, my initial not so diplomatic response would be ‘You should have done something you dim witted Dumbo!‘, I know that one should not address an American President in that way, but the need for tax reform was blatantly clear in the US in his first year and he did absolutely nothing there. So his continued view of “we need to be even more aggressive in enacting measures to reverse the decades-long rise in inequality. Unions should play a critical role“, where I see the need to state on how he pretty much ignored labour unions (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/labor-union-officials-say-obama-betrayed-them-in-health-care-rollout/2014/01/31/2cda6afc-8789-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html), so his words of exit could validly be reposted by the unions by them stating ‘Just shut up and go‘. That is one side that the Washington Post was making perfectly clear. Perhaps President Obama would like to recant the words by Taylor and Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America with “they were not listening or they simply did not care“, which is quite the issue for Barack Obama, who could at present face the label of becoming ‘the worst president in the history of the United States of America‘, I am not stating this, I am speculating on this, when we see the list of his achievements and the list of actions that are about to get overturned would be instrumental in this. I don’t think that he ever expected this, but on the other hand, this would be good news for the Buchanan family, as James Buchanan would no longer be the worst president (according to the C-Span poll).

All these elements connect as there is too much a view by those who imagine themselves as the holders of ‘wisdom’ that globalisation works, it does, but only for big business, and as long as proper taxation is not done, as long as board members earn incomes 700% above what a CEO used to make, which was already a massive amount, this globalisation will not hold water and nationalisation is the only solution to trim the greed away. In that a company is either not in any nation, or those nations see a chunk of that cash being taxed and spend locally, which actually does give forward momentum to those economies.

So, these Mary Poppins figurines should stop singing “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” when they get their pay check and annual bonus, they should start realising that the reality that brings the new “SuperTaxedAndCalibratedIncomeIsANormNow” might become a top of the pops. In that part as equilibrium resets on a government tax level as well as a living standard, we could see an economy where people have money to spend, they might actually all start the economy together. None of it required the crazy Draghi scheme and debts might actually be gotten under control, because that element too was a consequence of globalisation. Isn’t that interesting to see that no one from the World Bank made mention on any of these elements, which are proven to be factors. So was this a second step against Brexit and perhaps deflating Frexit?

 

I will let you decide, but feel free to read some of the articles I linked and more important, ask yourself the question why certain elements in all this were left out, elements that were part of all this all along.

Have a great Friday!

 

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