Category Archives: Religion

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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The Zuckergate Censorberg Act

Yesterday an interesting issue got to the FrontPage of the Norwegian Aftenposten (at http://www.aftenposten.no/kultur/Aftenposten-redaktor-om-snuoperasjonen–En-fornuftig-avgjorelse-av-Facebook-604237b.html) and for those who are slightly Norwegian linguistically challenged, there is an English version at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/08/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-napalm-girl-photo-vietnam-war.

aftenposten
It is something we have seen before. Although from a technical point of view, the editing (read: initial flag) is likely to have been done electronically, the added blame we see when we get to the quote “Egeland was subsequently suspended from Facebook. When Aftenposten reported on the suspension – using the same photograph in its article, which was then shared on the publication’s Facebook page – the newspaper received a message from Facebook asking it to “either remove or pixelize” the photograph” shows that this is an entirely different matter. This is now a censoring engine that is out of control. The specification ‘either remove or pixelize’ does not cut it, especially when it concerns a historical photo that was given a Pulitzer.

I am actually considering that there is more in play, you see, the Atlantic (at http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/05/facebook-isnt-fair/482610/) said it in May when it published “Facebook Doesn’t Have to Be Fair. The company has no legal obligation to be balanced—and lawmakers know it“, which is the title and subtitle and as such, the story is told and politicians like John Thune experienced how a social network can drown out whatever it wants (within reason). So when you see something is trending on Facebook, you must comprehend that it is not an algorithm, but contracted people guide its creation and as quotes in the Atlantic “routinely suppressed conservative news“. Yet this goes further than just censorship and news. As the Editor of Aftenposten raises (and others with him), Mark Zuckerberg has now become the most powerful editor in the world. He now has nothing less than a sworn duty to uphold the freedom of speech to a certain degree, especially when relying on algorithms that are unlikely to cut the mustard on its current track. It now also opposes the part the Atlantic gave us with the subtitle “The company has no legal obligation to be balanced—and lawmakers know it” showing Sheryl Sandberg in a ‘who gives a fuck‘ pose. You see, at present Facebook has over 1.7 billion active users. What is interesting is that the acts that he has been found guilty of acts that negatively impacts well over 50% of his active user base. Norway might be small, but he is learning that it packs a punch, and when we add India to the mix, the percentage of alienated people by the censoring act of Facebook goes up by a lot. So even as there is the use of blanket rules, the application is now showing to be more and more offensive to too many users and as such this level of censorship could hurt the bottom dollar that every social media site has, which are the number of users. So as Mark Zuckerberg is trying to get appeal in Asia, he needs to realise that catering to one more nation could have drastic consequences to those he think he has. Now we understand that there needs to be some level of censorship, yet the correct application of it seems to go the wrong way. Of course this could still all go south and we would have get used to log in to 顔のブック, or 脸书. Even चेहरे की किताब is not out of the question. So is that what Zuckerberg needs? I know the US is scared shitless in many ways when that happens, so perhaps overseeing a massive change into the world of censoring is now an important issue. Espen Egil Hansen said it nearly all when he stated “a troubling inability to “distinguish between child pornography and famous war photographs”, as well as an unwillingness to “allow space for good judgement”” is at the heart of the matter. In that regard, the issue of “routinely suppressing conservative news” remains the issue. When you censor 50% of your second largest user base, it is no longer just a case of free speech or freedom of expression. It becomes an optional case of discrimination, which could have even further extending consequences. Even as we sit now, there are lawsuits in play, the one from Pamela Geller, a person that only seems to be taken serious by Breitbart News is perhaps the most striking of all. Pamela (At http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/07/13/pamela-geller-suing-facebook/) with the quote “My page “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s In the Quran” was taken down from Facebook because it was “hate speech.” Hate speech? Really? The page ran the actual Quranic texts and teachings that called for hatred and incitement of violence against the Jews.” is a dangerous one. It is dangerous because it is in the same place as the Vietnam photo. The fact that this is a published religious book makes it important and the fact that the book is quoted makes it accurate. The blaze (at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/01/05/an-israeli-group-created-fake-anti-israel-and-anti-palestinian-facebook-pages-guess-which-one-got-taken-down/) goes one step further and conducted an experiment. The resulting quote is “The day the complaint was filed, the page inciting against Arabs was shut down. The group received a Hebrew language message from Facebook that read, according to a translation via Shurat HaDin, “We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it violates our community standards”, the page inciting against Jews was left active.” This indicates that Facebook has a series of issues. One cannot help but wonder whether this issue is merely bias or the economic print the Muslim world has when measured against a group of 8 million Israeli’s or perhaps just the population of 16 million Jews globally. With the Aftenposten event, Facebook seems to have painted itself into a corner, and if correct several lawsuits that could soon force Facebook to have a rigorous evaluation and reorganisation of several of its internal and external departments.

Because if Content is the cornerstone of Social media, the need to keep a clear view of freedom of expression and freedom of speech becomes even more important. In a product that seeks the need for growth that should have been obviously clear.

There is however a side that is not addressed by any. You might get the idea when you see the Guardian quote “News organizations are uncomfortably reliant on Facebook to reach an online audience. According to a 2016 study by Pew Research Center, 44% of US adults get their news on Facebook. Facebook’s popularity means that its algorithms can exert enormous power over public opinion“, the fact that Facebook might soon be hiding behind the ‘algorithms‘ as we see Facebook go forward on a defence relying on their version of the DEFAMATION ACT. In this example I will use the DEFAMATION ACT 2005 (Australian Law), where we see in Article 32

32 Defence of innocent dissemination
(1) It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that:
(a) the defendant published the matter merely in the capacity, or as an employee or agent, of a subordinate distributor, and
(b) the defendant neither knew, nor ought reasonably to have known, that the matter was defamatory, and
(c) the defendant’s lack of knowledge was not due to any negligence on the part of the defendant.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person is a “subordinate distributor” of defamatory matter if the person:

(a) was not the first or primary distributor of the matter, and
(b) was not the author or originator of the matter, and
(c) did not have any capacity to exercise editorial control over the content of the matter (or over the publication of the matter) before it was first published.

By relying on Algorithms, Facebook could now possible skate the issue, yet this can only happen if certain elements fall away, in addition, the algorithm will now become part of the case and debate muddying the waters further still.

Hanson does hit the nail on the head when it comes to the issues he raises like “geographically differentiated guidelines and rules for publication”, “distinguish[ing] between editors and other Facebook users,” and a “comprehensive review of the way you operate”. He is not wrong, yet I have to raise the following

In the first, when you decide to rely on “geographically differentiated guidelines and rules for publication”, you also include the rules of who you publish to. This is the first danger for Facebook, their granularity could fall away to some extent and Facebook advertising is all about global granularity. It is a path he would be very unwilling to skate. Open and global are his ticket to some of the largest companies. When this comes into play, smaller players like Coca Cola and Mars could soon find the beauty of moving some of their advertisements funds away from Facebook and towards Google AdWords. I am decently certain that Google will not be opposing that view any day soon.

In the second “distinguish[ing] between editors and other Facebook users” is only part of the path, you see when we start classifying the user, Facebook could start having to classify a little too much, making any distinguishing of such kind additional worries in regards to discrimination. Twitter faced that mess recently when a certain picture from one Newspaper was allowed and another one was not. That and the fact that a woman named Molly Wood (her actual name) was not allowed to use her name as her Facebook name, which is a matter for another day.

In the third the issue “comprehensive review of the way you operate” which is very much in play. The cases that Facebook has faced regarding content and privacy are merely the tip of the iceberg. We can all agree that when it is about sex crimes people tend to notice it, I am speculating for the most because of the word ‘sex’. So when I saw that there is a June reference (at http://www.mrctv.org/blog/facebook-censuring-international-stories-about-rapes-muslim-refugees), when Facebook removed a video from Ingrid Carlqvist for the Gatestone Institute, where she reports that there has been a 1,500% increase in rapes in Sweden, I was wondering why this had not found the front page of EVERY newspaper in every nations where there is free speech. The Gatestone Institute is a not-for-profit international policy think tank run by former UN Ambassador John Bolton, so not some kind of radicalised front.

In that regard is any kind of censoring even acceptable?

This case is more apt than you think when you consider the quote we see, even as I cannot give weight to the publishing site. We see “Facebook may have been incited to censor this story by a new European Union push in cooperation with Facebook, Twitter, and Google to report incidents of racism or xenophobia to the authorities for criminal prosecution” with the by-line “In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as the in the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalising hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame. To be considered valid in this respect, a notification should not be insufficiently precise or inadequately substantiated“, which was followed by “No matter why Facebook decided to remove Ingrid Carlqvist’s personal page, it doesn’t lessen the fact that this is another example of their political censorship, and their desire to place political correctness over freedom of the press and freedom of expression

Now this part has value and weight for the following reason: When we consider the earlier move by Facebook to relay on algorithms, the European Commission (at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1937_en.htm) gives us: ‘is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame‘, which could imply that an algorithm will not be regarded as one of the online intermediaries, which means that the human element remains and that Facebook cannot rely on the innocent dissemination part of the Defamation Act, meaning that they could end up being in hot water in several countries soon enough.

As parting words, let Facebook take heed of the words of Steven Spielberg: “There is a fine line between censorship and good taste and moral responsibility“.

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Rerumphobia

Somewhere between merry old England and joie de vivre France are islands, there are a few there and some actually have a population that exceeds the number of sheep (so you know it is not New Zealand we are talking about). The island has roughly 66,000 people, making it smaller than the total size of the Australian Defence Force and less people than Boston, Lincolnshire, meaning that merry old England has 304 cities larger than the population of this island.

Now that you have this collection of conversation starters, let’s get to the gritty of it all. The place I am referring to is Guernsey, a beautiful location that is caught between the island where you can order tripe with mint sauce and the main land that serves Steak Tartar. I was starting my browser to get a daily view of the Guardian and this is what got my initial attention ‘Guernsey chief minister defends anti-racism comments‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/09/guernsey-jonathan-le-tocq-defends-anti-racism-comments-islamophobia).

Jonathan Le Tocq, Chief Minister of Guernsey stated, according to ITV “they could meet many of the necessary UN requirements, such as education provision, they would not be able to guarantee the security of refugees if they came to the Bailiwick“. The paraphrase is not incorrect Jonathan stated: “…not be targeted or excluded, we’re not there and sadly that’s not possible”, this is a direct pragmatic statement.

In my view, a few players have missed the boat by a lot, let me explain. We have seen news, from nearly all sides. The quote “The protracted plight of these refugees has become an international security issue as terrorist groups have recruited from refugee camps“, which comes from Jill Goldenziel, a Harvard PHD, her article ‘Refugees and International Security‘ starts on page 3 of the attachment at the end of the article. She follows that quote with “These crises thus highlight the limits of the international refugee management system” So not only do they not know who has been going all over Europe, there is absolutely no way to know how many ISIS martyrs will be entering any given nation. That is not a scare issue, it is not an attempt to create fear; it is a visible established fact, a fact that has resonated all over the world and not just by the intelligence community. So in this case, it is Jonathan Le Tocq who brings the valid concerns here. He is more than just a man who will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of his 27th birthday next month (March 4th if you want to send him a birthday card at: Sir Charles Frossard House,  La Charroterie,  St Peter Port,  Guernsey,  GY1 1FH,  Channel Islands). He is chief Minister of an Island that is on the 305th place within the UK for population size, if we see The Right Honourable Jonathan as the Minister Chef of the Commonwealth Island of Guernsey he is not in the 305th position, he would slide down the list in a massive way.

So, can anyone show me a list of cities higher on the UK population list, with next to that name the number of refugees they have taken in? You see, Guernsey, Jersey and a few other islands have a massive problem. When things escalate, by the time help arrives, the population of that island could be decimated. When you consider the thought that this is just paranoia, consider the two attacks in Paris, a city with massive police power was left near powerless for too long a time, so how will an island with 146 policing  members deal with a threat like that? More protection? With what money?

Let’s not forget that we tend to trivialise the police at times, whilst laughing at ‘the Thin Blue Line’, we all know that the police is a lot more than Det. Insp. Derek Grim trying to defuse the threat of ‘dratsuc’, yet people deny the direct deadliness of extremism as people looked away when a French Muslim policeman Ahmed Merabet got gunned down in cold blood by extremists, because he was protecting the French people and their freedom of speech. In equal measure there is the internal fear that a wave of panic could hit the population, lashing out unjustly. None of these facts point towards racism. Fear is a strange bedfellow, causing no good wherever it is, but in all this there is the reality of that what is, so can we see the list of the 304 larger places in the UK, with the number of refugees they have taken in?

Let’s also acknowledge that 99.999% of these refugees are real refugees seeking a way out of hell, a way towards decent sleep and decent food, but over 60,000 refugees that this means that there are 60 potential terrorists. The two attacks in France only required 11 assailants, as 34,000 police agents (over 15 districts) were too late in all the points of attack. So where does the Guernsey police stand? No matter how well Patrick Rice has his ducks in a row, with a force of 134 there is a risk and it was the responsibility of Jonathan Le Tocq to voice this.

So when we see many sources that there is “Islamophobia” on Guernsey they are not correctly voicing all of the facts. For any Christian place to state there is no “Islamophobia”, in my view that state is clearly lying, we all, have forever feared the unknown. To voice this, let me ask you a question (providing you are over 33), ‘Give me three differences between Shia Islam and Sunni Islam‘, if you know that, then ask yourself, did you know this on September 10th 2001? This comes from the award winning TV series ‘the Newsroom’, but the truth is clear, non-Islam earth for the most did not have a clue regarding Islam before that fateful day. Since that moment religious extremism (not just Islamic) has been on the rise on a global scale. In my view, the political failing to make the hard calls that need to be made are still a worry today. The humanitarian tsunami has shown that an open Europe brought massive problems and the dislodgement of millions of people is draining resources and stopping actual solutions to be implemented. This means that the fear of the unknown will hit many places and isolated easier and more intense. It does not make the people of Guernsey phobic, it does make the media at large hypocritical as it played the fear card for spinning, exploitation and scaremongering for too long, in all this the readers got caught in the middle. An example is shown (at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/terror-scaremongering-threatens-our-democracy-20140919-10jcxq.html), here we see that the 2014 rehashing of all the events show that the 2005 events were massively out of focus. The quote “The evidence in the lengthy court proceedings that culminated in a Supreme Court trial in 2008 showed nothing of the sort. The reference to the Westgate Bridge had been taken out of context and was completely innocent. There was simply no evidence of a plot to blow up Flinders Street station, and the reference to the MCG was in the context of a vague conversation between two of the accused“, in addition we see “The case against these men was put by the prosecution on the basis that they did not have a terrorist target and that they had no plan in place to commit a terrorist act. Christine Nixon’s phrase, “imminent terrorist attack”, was simply wrong“, in itself this might not be seen as evidence, but the clarity is still overwhelming. We fear what we do not understand, and not many comprehend Islam, which impacts all around. So the issue from Guernsey is still there, there is still a need to address the fear, which will not happen overnight. Yet as the press gives us that Guernsey is shown as an isolated case, would Steven Morris be so kind to give us a list of the 304 larger cities and the amount of refugees they are taking in? I did like the video that Steven Morris did put online with the view of the local populous, ‘the majority are not‘, which is very true, but a tinderbox can start with as little as two people and on 78 square kilometres, 135 people (one police commissioner and his blue minions) won’t have too many options soon thereafter, no matter in what direction the escalation went.

Let’s be clear here, I expect the chance to be so extremely low that it is not funny, but can any of the officials on Guernsey take that chance?

That is the one element people forget, you see Australia might be an ‘island’, but with 132,000 km of possible beachfront property, that little ‘island’ has a circumference equalling three times the earth. Unless you actually lived on an island (the size of Guernsey), the issue of island safety tends to elude us all. A side not clearly shown in the article, or by a massive amount of sources for that matter.

In the end, the clear refugee registration failure is part of all this. The nations of entry have missed the ball on a Titanic scale here which, under the sheer amount of refugees is not that much of a surprise, but it does give the UK now its own set of problems. Which gets us to one of the other reasons we get from being an island. ‘A lack of infrastructure and support services to help them‘, is not just a valid issue, it is a massively large one.

So as we await the list of 304, lets contemplate the wisdom of places a clearly limited group in the one place where they end up getting isolated from the other refugees (the 99.99999% that will not be placed on Guernsey), does that step make any sense at all? to end all this, lets shine a little light on a Guardian article from November 19th 2015 (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/19/syrian-refugees-in-america-fact-from-fiction-congress), there at the end we see “Since 2012, the US has accepted 2,174 Syrian refugees – roughly 0.0007% of America’s total population“, the article does show that the UK is staying behind in all this, which is not a good thing, but the UK is an Island, it comes with a setback, yet compare this now with the mainland (the graphic at the end of the article is very illuminating). Nations like France, Norway and Poland might not have done a lot, but they are on par with the ENTIRE United States of America, the fact that a nation like the Netherlands has taken 260% of what the USA has accepted makes the Guernsey debate a joke! That flaming, below sea-level, clog wearing nation called the Netherlands, a nation that is roughly 65% the size of the state of West Virginia, so shall we ignore the issue that is exaggerated regarding Guernsey and look at the issues why this is a global problem (apart from the valid reason of registration)?

So for those moving to Guernsey enjoy the fact that the weather at St. Peter Port will be a high between 5 and 14 degrees Celsius, so those people will face a few more shocks, not just cultural ones. Rerumphobia, ‘the fear of facts’. The final part to consider is the price tag. This costs, which no one ignores. That is a good thing, yet of all the options Jonathan, the words we could go broke was not one of them. So when you look at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-guernsey-35546424, consider that these numbers have been known for a little while now. So as tourism goes down, business visitors down by 39%, what do you think will happen next to those missing out? What will happen to the Guernsey business on that scale? In addition Tourism is set to be down by 7.8%, how will that impact retail? All elements that are a reality, when we see ‘Der Spiegel’ reporting “Some mayors have cancelled the contracts of tenants in publicly owned apartments in order to house refugees“, which is not the whole story, but a reported fact, we realise that Germany is in a decent economical position, with plenty of space, yet the pressure that 500K refugees are pressing on a population of 80 million, gives us that 0.00625%. So here we are, not confronted by “Islamophobia”, but with the underlying issues, of resources and needs, which will pressurise any situation.

As I said, let’s see how many refugees the larger 304 locations of the UK are taking on, before we start accusing smaller places by taking text out of context.

 

goldenziel_refugees_and_international_security__2010

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Comprehension

At times, I am at a loss. This is one of those times, and it started as I was confronted with the article ‘Treat surrogate parents as sex offenders, says Italian minister’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/06/treat-surrogates-sex-offenders-italian-minister-angelino-alfano). You see, here I have two levels of confusion.

Let me explain. The first level involves the women that do this. I do not mean this in any negative way! I get it when it is family, but even then, there is part of me that does not quite grasps it. There is nothing as noble as ‘to give thine own body’. You see, no matter how noble it is, I could never fathom a surrogate mother, not her way or her intent, but the fact that once the baby was born that she would have the strength to part with it. We see and read on how teenage girls offer children up for adoption, mainly because they were not ready and they are unable to care for the child and the child might end up having a much better life. In those instances we try to be understanding, but we all realise that this could eat away at the soul of the young woman who did this. There have been many books and many movies, yet the reality is that only that mother can truly state and express what it felt like.

I think it would not be a pretty picture.

So in that light, understanding that a surrogate mother might actually be capable of raising that child, the willingness to part with it is incomprehensible to me, and I need not comprehend. In all this, I never looked negative against the woman who made that choice. So when I read ‘Angelino Alfano says ‘wombs for rent’ should be punishable with prison, as he suggests new laws will make it easier for gay couples to use surrogate mothers‘, I wonder what kind of an idiot Angelino Alfano actually is. Is he just anti-gay, is he anti-surrogate? From what I read I feel certain that he is anti-intelligent!

Now we get to the religious part, because Italy is all about Catholics. At times I think that Italy is all about Catholics, food and adultery, but we get to that soon enough. So, you’ll see some scriptures, but again, reasoning later.

So Angelino Alfano, answer me this, of all your friends who committed adultery, Leviticus 20:10 “If any man commit adultery with the wife of another, and defile his neighbour’ s wife, let them be put to death, both the adulterer and the adulteress“, so how many of those ‘friends’ did you put to death? Or perhaps we should take a look at his actions as stated by the Financial Times on October 2nd 2013 (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a142b3a8-2b46-11e3-a1b7-00144feab7de.html#axzz3wXhbQy5b), where we see: “the young Sicilian lawyer has been compared to Judas Iscariot in leading a betrayal of his long-time mentor“. Interesting, so who was that Judas Iscariot person? I wonder if there was a punishment for treason, so in all that, it should be clear that  Angelino Alfano should not be making too many statements for a few reasons (read: I will not remove his freedom of speech, just request he keeps a centre of discretion with all his alleged transgressions).

Now, for the other side.

In the Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Philippians 2:3 we see “Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves“, it seems that the happiness for the others is taken in much higher regard. In following there is Timothy 1, where at 6:18 we see “To do good, to be rich in good works, to give easily, to communicate to others,” and finally in Corinthians 10:23-24 we see: “All things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify. Let no man seek his own, but that which is another’s

At face value women who did this have done a Samaritan act of sacrifice and goodness against their nature but not an unnatural one. In a tale of two villages where a storm destroys the bakery of one, should the other baker not make available the oven so that the other village will not perish? Is that such a far stretch? So in that same light should a man of such hypocritical disposition not be shunned for his words and actions? When we read “Treating couples who use surrogate mothers as sex criminals, as Alfano suggested, would entail harsh penalties“, you see the subtext ‘couples who use surrogate mothers‘ is part of this and he seems to be driven to label this as ‘forms of human sexual behaviour that are crimes‘, are they? You see, legally speaking, the intent was given as ‘who use‘, yet this is not the case, the surrogate mother volunteered, which is not the same, she offered and was not used. This now gives us the path he might try to walk which is ‘Treating surrogate mothers who volunteer assistance to same sex couples as sex criminals‘. It seems to get a little dicey now, doesn’t it! As any Samaritan act of good intent is usually not prosecutable. So what started this?

You see, surrogacy is illegal in Italy and that, even if some would considered it to be ‘the act of a non-enlightened nation‘, it is the legal premise that Italy is allowed to make, so when Angelino Alfano comes with the quote “We want ‘wombs for rent’ to become a universal crime. And that it is punished with prison. Just as happens for sexual crimes”, we should all question what is in his mind, perhaps it is the voice of some obscure cleric from Sicily (his origins) who has a massive anti-gay agenda. Perhaps this is not about any of that! Remember the Financial Times part? That is a while ago, but his position is nowhere stable, in addition, in Politico we see “Last month, Angelino Alfano, Italy’s interior minister, described as a “symbol of victory” a plane carrying 19 young Eritreans from Ciampino airport in Rome to Luleå in Sweden. Italy, he said, would send an additional 100 people “in the next few days”” (at http://www.politico.eu/article/why-eu-refugee-relocation-policy-has-been-a-flop-frontex-easo-med/), the UNHCR reveals that on December 31st 2015 153,600 refugees had arrived in Italy, 97,584 on Angelino’s island of Sicily (read: 63.53125% roughly). So is this really about the surrogacy issue, or is he just making waves especially as he heralded a new home for 19 of those refugees (aka 0.000012369%) with the additional 100, meaning he got a solution for 0.000077473%, yes we can all see where the importance of Angelino Alfano is. It is in the smallest of margins where we see his actions, so as I read this, I am not convinced it is his ‘anti’ approach in all this, it is his need for visibility as I see it and he is not doing it in the most intelligent way imaginable.

Instead of an actual effort to solve the logistics of the refugee tsunami that hits Italy and his island Sicily, we see a surrogacy and an anti-gay tainted pass ono a group that can find a sheltered solution outside of Italy, so instead of solving the problems Italy does have (aside of the 2,230,198,602,275 € debt Italy has at present), we see another politician waste time, space and energy on a topic that is not his to solve and one that has absolutely no solving value for Italy at all.

In all this I feel decently certain that even the Bishop of Rome would side with me that although it is a discussion worthy of the Cardinals Conclave, these women might be beautified for their divine compassion 100% sooner than Angelino Alfano ever will.

Now for me, I have always been leaning towards man-made or positive laws. I feel that the interpretation is important and that we do not always have the wisdom to properly interpret, which is why I have always been a fan of Dr BJ McEniery’s article ‘Physicality in Australian patent law’, which was published in the Deakin Law Review. You see Intellectual property has always been under powerful evolutions, yet the fact that long ago there was a clear understanding that physicality was something that would evolve and the law had no way off seeing how and towards what is always in the back of my mind. Ignoring Natural law is therefore equally stupid. As a Catholic I tend to be more Christian than Catholic, where it is important to see and weigh the intent on the person, so even as I do not rule out the less Samaritan paths a surrogate mother could be on, the powerful drive within any mother would counter this strongly whenever possible, which gets me to the positivity of their act against the trivial and self-righteous mindset of Angelino Alfano and on that scale he does not fare well.

So even if you disagree with my choices of bible passages, there is almost no way where you can consider in favour of the trivial path Mr Alfano is on. I would hope that his holiness the Bishop of Rome would sooner rather than later (as well as several members of the curie) would consider speaking out that the need to solve the suffering of 153,600 refugees take a massive priority over the possible issue that a handful of surrogate mothers might bring, especially when they are openly and voluntarily offering their Samaritan womb on this. So if Angelino Alfano ever (in a legal Samaritan way) rescues the plight of 1536 refugees (aka 1%), only then if any energy is left should he look at small and insignificant issues. but by that time his political reign has ended and the press will not have any time for him as they will be wanting to hear from the next elected official.

There are many issues that plague Europe, some we might never fix, some we can possibly fix and some can be fixed, do we really need to look at issues that do not presently require fixing?

I will let you be the judge of that, but for those who do have a Christian background they still adhere to remember the Gospel According to Saint Matthew (7:1) “Judge not, that you may not be judged, for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again“, which is good advice, advice that might be a little too late for Angelino Alfano if we are to believe the Divine Comedy. For was it not Antenora where the transgressors of treason of party and nations ended up, to be frozen in ice up to the neck? Now, let’s be fair, Mr Alfano is no Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, yet as we see the credits he heralds in whilst Italy remains in dire need and he voices his view to a ‘universal solution’ where Italy has no problem, where is his actual allegiance and as such is that not utterly detestable? Yes it is, which does not make it treason or treacherous, yet as Italian Minister of the Interior, his responsibility is for internal security and the protection of the constitutional order. As such he can prosecute surrogacy within Italy, yet it does not mean that it is his job to waste time for the change of a ‘universal solution’, especially as surrogate mothers are in no way an internal security issue, yet the 153,481 (if he ever got the additional 100 towards refugees towards Sweden) might be. As I see it, the refugee logistics fall squarely in his lap, an issue he does not seem to be addressing, which we should regard as a failed level of comprehension on his side.

 

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