Tag Archives: ABC

Is it a rerun?

We have all seen reruns, some are pleasant. There is the rerun of Charmed (three gorgeous women who can put a spell on you), there is the rerun of Gilmore Girls (two generations of flaky women in the best of times), we see another rerun of the X-Files, Star Trek, Gunsmoke, Will & Grace, the list goes on and for the most we do not mind that these series have reruns, some were great, plenty were fun and a few are merely guilty pleasure. Yet how to react when we are confronted with a rerun of the sex acts of Jeffrey Epstein, a rerun with new and different girls now?

ABC is giving a partially different story. They give us: “According to an indictment, Mr Epstein arranged for girls under the age of 18 to perform nude “massages” and other sex acts for him in his New York and Florida homes, and paid some girls to recruit others, from at least 2002 to 2005. Mr Epstein had faced similar charges in 2007, but negotiated a deal to avoid federal prosecution and plead guilty to a single Florida state prostitution charge“, I actually covered this in my article ‘As we judge morality‘ on January 7th 2015 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/07/as-we-judge-morality/), as well as ‘That what is ignored‘ on January 25th 2015 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/25/that-what-is-ignored/), I even added the Palm Beach Police Department Probable Cause Affidavit in PDF form.

Now, we all have rights, and it seems that the rich have more rights, so the idea that (according to SBS News) ‘Jeffrey Epstein applies for house arrest over underage sex trafficking charges‘, an optional rapist and child molester gets to live in a golden cage on a space up to 15000 square feet, living the good life for the crimes that he is accused of is a little too rich for my blood. He might have the best lawyers when we see the quote: “Epstein’s lawyers argued home confinement, along with electronic monitoring, surveillance and a bond secured by a mortgage on his $US77 million ($A110 million) Manhattan mansion would be enough to ensure that he does not flee the country“, yet I do not agree. A man who was until recently labelled a billionaire, so to consider a person with well over 1,200 million not a flight risk when he optionally sacrifices 8.3% of his fortune to avoid 45 years in prison makes him very much a flight risk. I will do you one better, his lawyer, if he flees must spend 10% of that jail time in prison and forfeits his bar admittance when he does flee. How does that sound? Will his lawyer stand by his defence at that point? I actually doubt that. We can argue that it is not fair on the lawyer, but when we hear the lawyer state that he is not a flight risk, is it fair to hold his lawyer to account when he does? Is it really that unfair an expectation to have?

I already had a lot of issues with the 13 months he spend in 2008, even as there was a clear stage of sexual offense against a minor, so the issue is twofold, not only did we clear the Catholic priests, but we are going to clear Wall Street financiers too? How does that go over with you?

Initially I was in a stage where the law could not double dip, the case was closed, yet ABC gives us: “Prosecutors said Mr Epstein paid $US 100,000 in November to a person identified in his 2007 non-prosecution agreement as a possible co-conspirator. They said he paid $US 250,000 in December to another person identified in the agreement as a possible co-conspirator and employee“, it implies (implies not proves) that the case was a lot larger than first seen, so this is a renewed investigation. Even as the ruling of the house arrest is a little over 27 hours away, I believe that there is a lot more coming to the wires. When we revisit the parts I had, now by Global News Canada, we get: “In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution under an agreement that required him to spend 13 months in jail and register as a sex offender. The agreement has been widely criticized for secretly ending a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls at the time that could have landed him behind bars for life“, the issue of 40 girls was unknown, I know that there were several, but not 40, as such if that number is proven we need to investigate the entire court matter, as well as the judge on how this person got only 13 months initially. It is nothing less than a complete travesty of justice. So even as we see that there was an agreement in one state, there are another 51 states that can have a go at him and the state of New York has decided to do just that. This gets us back to the SBS article and then too we can agree that we have to oppose “Epstein would nonetheless agree to be fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet, surrender his passport and de-register his private jet as conditions of his house arrest” a person with that many millions does not need a passport and hand over the keys of his jet, a person like that has loads of options on the side, he remains a flight risk, especially as he used to be so privileges with allotments a thousand times what the average person will ever have, the idea to spend the rest of his life in a room that is 7 feet by 12 feet is enough to forsake well over 75% of his well over 1200 million value, whatever he has left would be enough to have a decent life anywhere on the planet. Yes, this man remains a flight risk. It gets to be even worse that the lack of exposure he had in 2008 is no longer an option now. The people are angry and they will watch the media like a hawk, so the media has everything to lose by leaving this issue alone. Those who go soft will see a much larger impact, and as such they are all out for blood now.

So as the Insider gives us: “The FBI prepared a 53-page indictment against Epstein, but his lawyers instead started plea negotiations with Alexander Acosta, then the US District Attorney for the Southern District of Florida“, we see that his lawyers used whatever they could to stop the FBI indictment, and it goes beyond that. When we consider the Trump links and the fact that the person (Alexander Acosta) who was the US DA of Southern Florida is now United States Secretary of Labor, I wonder if this is all merely a coincidence and an actual prosecution, or whether this is something more. When we consider the quote: “The prosecutors had identified 36 victims of Epstein, most of them having no prior knowledge of the agreement and no opportunity to give input. The deal has been the subject of criticism by the Miami Herald and others“, we see an optional Republican perversion of justice, one so disgusting that we might open the floor to the debate whether a person like Alexander Acosta should be accepted in any public office ever. An optional stage where 36 victims, several regarded then to be minors were just left to their own devices. Can we argue that if any of those victims were the children of Alexander Acosta, would Epstein be walking free after 13 months? That is fair enough a question too, is it not?

And the plot does not stop here, if the reports from Global News Canada are to be believed, we are given the optional fact that Epstein’s New Mexico ranch not named in latest indictment despite older court records alleging abuse at compound. So we see another stage where a place of sexual transgression is not in the cards for prosecution, why is that? I for one do not understand why the FBI was taken out of the equation by Alexander Acosta. We have a clear setting of locations that Epstein owned in three states, making it a clear FBI case, there are alleged transgressions in at least two of them (I use alleged as this is about accepted evidence in court), as such this should have been the top issue for the FBI to a much larger extent. And when we look deeper into the New York Times, we see that they incriminate themselves to a much larger degree. With the quote: ““I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an ‘offender,’ Mr. Epstein told The New York Post in 2011. “It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.” Ms. Siegal recalled, “He said he’d served his time and assured me that he changed his ways.”” it is if the stage is correctly set. The article refers to Peggy Siegal, an A-lister event organiser, the fact that a person like this is left in the dark on one of her ‘highly regarded guests’ makes for a more concerning stage. If it is true that there is an implied lack of scrutiny and the stage of her events are merely the level of the bank account, we see that there is a chance that she would throw a party and that an unsuspecting guest would be exposed to people like Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, Manuel Noriega, General Sani Abacha, and so on. How good would you feel at a party like that? When we consider this, we see that there has been a much larger cape of protection around Jeffrey Epstein and that should worry us all. We could have argued to some extent that this was a mistake, yet when we see that a certain Secretary of Labor left a large bulk of 36 victims away from consideration, we see a much larger danger, there is no Justice, not when the rich and famous can avoid prosecution to this degree.

I wonder how a person like Peggy Siegal will defend her next A-list event, I wonder how any A-lister feels about mingling with predators, murderers and dictators, do they like their life to be that spicy and non-discriminatory? So in addition, to those who are not considered an A-lister, when a person like Jeffrey Epstein was one: Chadwick Boseman, James McAvoy, Jason Bateman, Cara Delevingne, Zoë Kravitz and Karen Gillan. Just a few names that are at present (as far as I was able to find), not officially set as A-lister. It does not matter whether they want to be one or not, the stage is that they are a dozen times more worthy as social role model than a person like Jeffrey Epstein is and that matters, it changes the view.

Now, I still accept that he is innocent until proven guilty, but he admitted to events in the past and now that we see that the accusations were optionally ten times worse, we see a shift in what we accept and find acceptable. I reckon that the next two weeks will be a lot more pressing for America than they comprehend, after the entire Catholic scandal; people are a lot less accepting of certain acts. The nice part is that the world is full of fathers and mothers, the idea that children, dozens of children might have included one of their children is making them really angry and well over 120 million parents are in the US, so whatever the law does, they better take a long hard look at themselves of whatever deal they make, I feel certain that the parents of America will not see it in that light. It also calls for a larger investigation on what was done in the past and there is a larger stage of the acts of some that might now be seen as totally unacceptable. I also wonder whether the FBI has looked into the 36 victims and whether they have all been interviewed by the FBI on the matter of what was avoided the last time around by a certain District Attorney. When we see politicians claim that these people need to be beyond clean, I wonder how many people have just endangered their own careers by allowing one DA make one person get away with proverbial murder.

Yet in addition to what I wrote earlier, only 5 minutes ago, 7 News Boston gives me ‘Jeffrey Epstein’s New Mexico ranch linked to investigation‘, it also gives us that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down amid the tumult over his handling of the 2008 deal with Epstein. It seems that the proverbial rats are fleeing the ship as fast as they can, it seems a harsh expression, but I always had an issue with the mere 13 months, now we see that a stage like this can impact to a much larger degree and I personally believe that this is a good thing, even as I personally believe that this case was set to such high visibility to impact the Republican party to the largest degree possible, we can all agree that several steps to ‘protect’ Jeffrey Epstein to the degree he was should never have been done, or openly be seen as acceptable. Yet I feel it is only fair to give view to the setting as Acosta gives it (in the New York Post), there we see: “Acosta said that as the US attorney in Florida more than a decade ago, he decided to offer Epstein a sweetheart no-prosecution deal on federal charges because state prosecutors were supposedly ready to let him walk free”, that is an important view too. If he can prove this, than there is a much larger issue, yet we were also given that a lot of the victims were not heard, so there is still that to account for. No matter how we slice this, this event and the event to those involved in all this from 2007 onward is far from over. A case that disgusts the bulk of people and it took 12 years to get it all to the stage it is today at, the law failed to too large a degree as I personally see it.

So this case will linger a lot longer than we initially thought, I can’t wait to see the bail hearing and to hear what the judge decides in this case.

 

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Desertion

Desertion is an ugly word, it is often contributed to cowardice and cowards, the truth is actually less straight forward. We can consider that the choice is left to someone who can no longer tolerate the actions of their government. Then there is another form, when it is not linked to a military decision, when in its purest form the application is the action of deserting a person, cause, organization or even a government, and even then people try to hide it behind words like forsaking, abandonment, shunning, stranding or jilting.

They consider desertion too harsh a word, but that is exactly what the US government is doing as the New York Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/11/us/politics/house-democrats-saudi-arabia.html) gives us: ‘House Moves Again to Cut Off Support to Saudi War in Yemen‘, so when we see: “to prevent the Trump administration from using its emergency authority to transfer munitions to the kingdom, delivering twin rebukes as Democrats sought to leave their stamp on military policy“, when we see this, we should consider betrayal of an ally, abandoning a nation that the US claims to have good ties with. And it goes further than that, there is actually an issue that has been left unpublished for a much longer time (to the degree it should have been published).

Qatar has been accused of being a facilitator for state sponsored terrorism. This is not a light subject, it is quite heavy an accusation. Let’s be clear, I am not accusing them of this, they have been accused and it is an important accusation, because the US is in much deeper waters than you think. Even as Saudi Arabia is getting cut off from defence options to defend itself against Hezbollah and Iranian supported Houthi units, attacked by (mostly) Houthi forces using missiles, we learn that mere hours ago “a Houthi rocket was fired indiscriminately and targeted a non-military area“, the target was Dhalea in SW Yemen, so the fighting goes on and America is pulling out, or are they? With the news from ABC that less than 24 hours ago (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-10/qatar-donald-trump-military-and-commercial-deals/11294500) we are given: ‘US and Qatar ink deals for ‘tremendous amounts’ of military weapons and Boeing planes‘, the quote: “Qatar has agreed to buy “tremendous amounts of military equipment” and Boeing planes from the United States following a visit by Gulf Nation’s Emir to the White House, according to President Donald Trump” implies that the United States wants to be part of the Middle East, more importantly it is seemingly on track to keep stability to a nominal minimum, which is only serving America at present. It was given (by ABC as well ) that Qatar has an issue, in 2017 we saw the accusation “According to James Piscatori, deputy director at ANU’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, “It is probable that the regime, as well as some wealthy Qataris, have been supporting various groups, such as the Nusra Front.”” and unlike the implied murder of a journalist no one cares about, the accusation against Qatar is not one that requires ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, it requires ‘is it more likely than not‘ and that bar was seemingly passed. Over two years there has never been clear evidence produced that this was not the case and now we see that in the backwash of implied state sponsored terrorism we see the US making happy deals. The fact that these questions are not out in the open with the media is a lot more pressing than one might imagine. Media inaction allows for the accusation to fester and that is happening.

So when we get the additional quote: “The terrorist group, which has since changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, began as an offshoot of Al Qaeda. It’s been fighting President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war and wants to establish an Islamic caliphate“, the fact that this was given to AC out in the open in a stage where we see the American non treasury see a shift from one player to another is more pressing, there is a larger concern and as the US is keeping stability in the region to a minimum, the dangers will mount to larger degrees soon enough. the problem remains a large one, not because of the lack of evidence pointing one way or another, it is the statement from Gen. Charles Wald, former commander of U.S. Central Command Air Forces, who gave us only a few days ago: “Qatar is helping Iran“, now this is a loaded issue, first of all, there might be a large issue with Iran, but that does not mean that some nations do not have an economic need to play mean to dump Iran as a business partner. Can we (or should we) prevent medications and food to be shipped to any nation? If we have a humanitarian side, it wold be that a population need not be hungry, famished or denied medical provisions. And we also acknowledge that less than 48 hours after the attack on the World Trade Centre, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar opened business to America so that it could have a strategic advantage. Even as we acknowledge it all, we also see the view that this general has with: “Qatar must choose: It can keep its U.S. air base or its ties to Tehran“, I am willing to think that issues are this simple, but they are not. Yet the state funded terrorism accusation lingers.

Then the second tier comes into play, consider that the accusation is true, how high does it go? Consider that Qatar is a monarchy with Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani at the head of that table. No matter the accusations have never been linked, or were there any serious accusations (with some level of evidence) that a member of the monarchy was involved. Is Qatar therefor still guilty, or are there elements in Qatar (high ranking ones) part to the stage where state funded terrorism is a valid accusation? The fact that the media is not looking there, does not mean we must shun the question.

When we look at family, we see the father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, under his rule as previous ruler, we see that two US military bases were hosted, large investments in western corporations for well over $100 billion, there was the support of Arab spring and founded Al Jazeera, these are all actions that imply futuristic thinking, not funding terrorism and we need to acknowledge that. Then there is the brother (of the current monarch) Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as well as at Sherbourne School (Dorset), none of this screams terrorist support, this does not mean that it is not happening, it merely implies that the ‘more likely than not‘ might be a wrong standard and there has been very little investigation towards the guilt or innocence of Qatar.

Still these sides do not imply that the US is wrongfully selling arms, it does still support the tactic of minimalizing stability in the region and that is wrong, the abandonment of Saudi Arabia seems clear too and as such the dangers in the Middle East are escalating, not lowering, which is a large failure.

What happened?

For this we can turn to yesterday’s Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/the-saudi-qatari-breach-explained/2019/07/09/96ec69de-a260-11e9-a767-d7ab84aef3e9_story.html) Here we see: “The crisis was sparked in 2017 when hackers published a story on Qatar’s news agency quoting Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as criticizing mounting anti-Iran sentiment after a trip to the region by U.S. President Donald Trump. Qatari officials quickly deleted the comments, and appealed for calm as Saudi and U.A.E. newspapers, clerics and celebrities accused Qatar of trying to undermine efforts to isolate Iran“. Here my issue becomes ‘when hackers published a story‘, and they have journalistic integrity how exactly? Hackers tend to lack credibility, not to mention in an age with over 10,000,000 hackers there is a group (well over 90%) that have only greed driven needs, so how is that reliable?

How money flows

Then the Washington Post gives a gem that is worth its weight in gold. With: “Some Qataris have provided support to al-Qaeda and its spinoffs, U.S. officials say. According to the State Department’s report on international terrorism, despite government controls, “terrorist financiers within the country are still able to exploit Qatar’s informal financial system.” The U.S. report uses similar language in its section on Saudi Arabia. The report details efforts by both the Qatari and Saudi governments to counter terrorism financing. It offers greater praise of the Saudi efforts“, it does something strong, the premise of ‘more likely than not‘ now fails to a much larger degree. when we see: ‘Some Qataris‘ we recognise that there is a small issue, but when we place ‘some Qataris‘ next to the thousands of terrorists that America has (the members of the Ku Klux Klan to name merely a first group), we see that the accusations against Qatar are suddenly less powerful. Now we accept that the issue existed in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, yet we see that Saudi Arabia has been more eager to fight this than Qatar it does not make Qatar more guilty, it merely means that optionally more is required from Qatar, yet in all this there remains the issue on why America abandoned Saudi Arabia. I believe that these steps have seemingly nothing to do with commerce, merely with reduced stability and in this day and age in the way that Iran is jumping around not a good thing, when the kettle boils a short decisive war would be essential and America just made that a non-option.

so when we get back to the New York times, we see how the US government is making themselves liable (as I personally see it) “But the most consequential amendments on Thursday continued Congress’s months long effort to intervene in the Yemen conflict and punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of the dissident Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi” you see, no evidence was ever presented, no evidence can be presented at present making a government privy to intentional murder, there is no body, there is no forensic evidence, there is merely circumstantial evidence at best and even then, some of that evidence in tainted. So the US taking the work of an essay writer (seemingly named Eggy Calamari) as gospel to the degree it is doing is not staging any level of progress, it was a document at best and presented in three stages, every time merely meant to attack Saudi Arabia, progressing destabilisation in the Middle East (better stating inhibiting stability).

It gets to be worse (for America) when we consider “Lawmakers voted 236 to 193 to prohibit the administration from using funds to support the Saudi-led military operations — either with munitions or with intelligence — against the Houthis in Yemen“, especially when we see mounting evidence that Houthis have directly been targeting civilians, have engaged on a larger scale firing Iranian missiles into Saudi Arabia and using drones to attack ships and airfields in the region, that is a group you want to protect? I think that there are optionally 236 voters guilty of supporting terrorism to a much larger degree, I wonder which excuse they will use for letting the battle rage on, stopping humanitarian aid to go forward towards the Yemeni civilians and now with the added accusation that Houthi forces have recruited 30,000 child soldiers up to this point (source: Middle East monitor). As I see it, when the dust settles, I will have fun! I will try to publish the photos of the cadavers from all over Yemen with (or is that ‘in’) all their exposed guts and glory. I will on the principle of the matter make sure that these 236 names are published with these images so that the American people know who they voted for and how humanitarian their actions were in the end, that’s only fair, right?

When you desert your ally, you should be proud of that fact and get named in full, should you not?

 

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Danger on the Australian shores

There is a danger lurking, it took over Japan, the US and Europe, now we see Greg Jericho (aka gorgonomics) vocally giving us: ‘The government needs to get into more debt, our grim economy depends on it‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2019/may/28/the-government-needs-to-get-into-more-debt-our-grim-economy-depends-on-it) and my first reaction is: “You have got to be out of your bloody mind“. In the first politicians should never be trusted with the option of deeper debt, the US and Europe are clear evidence of that. The second is that giving that much power to the banks is just unacceptable. We see transgression after transgression and they walk away with mere fines. Reuters gave us less than two months ago: “The largest ever money laundering scandal in Europe is rippling through the region’s banks“, these people think that they can get away with murder, and whilst we hear politicians proclaim that they will use the full power of the law, we have yet to see any banker do any serious prison sentence since 2004.

Latvia’s ABLV, the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, Sweden’s Swedbank and it is all about €200,000,000,000 between 2007 and 2015. So far the chief executive of Swedbank was let go, and how much money did they make? These issues are connected. Deutsche bank and the Dutch ING, which was ‘forced’ to pay a $915 million last year for example, yet when their takings are part of billions upon billions, these players go home with a pretty penny. So far the Australian banks are decently clean large debts will optionally change that, anyone telling you different is lying through their teeth. When we realise that EU banks payed over $16 billion in fines between 2012 and 2018 because of lax money-laundering checks, we think that there is a solution, yet how does $16,000,000,000 compare to €200,000,000,000? Someone is going home rich and whilst the banks pay of the fine making it a mere cost, the cost of doing business goes up and so do the fees.

the Singapore Independent (at http://theindependent.sg/nigerian-based-in-singapore-jailed-for-role-in-citibank-money-laundering-scheme/) gave us last week “Paul Gabriel Amos was sentenced to three years’ jail after he pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly receiving stolen property amounting to more than S$1 million and one count of money laundering” ad this is still about a 2008 case, it took over a decade to get this far, and when we see “Amos agreed to help in exchange for a cut of the criminal proceeds“, that is how it works and this is in places where banking is a lot more sophisticated than anything Australia has. You might hear accusations that these cases are not connected, but they are. They are connected to greed and ‘opportunity’. My issue is that the Australian government has no business taking out large loans of any kind until they fix the tax system, no matter how long that takes. It gets to be even worse is we take the Business Insider (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/maxine-waters-deutsche-bank-subpoena-trump-kushner-2019-5), the fact that we see: “The chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee told INSIDER on Tuesday that a New York Times article detailing how Deutsche Bank buried reports of potentially illegal financial activity linked to President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner “reinforces the need” for the panel “to obtain the documents we have subpoenaed from the bank.”“, when we consider that the banks facilitated for someone who is not President of the United States and we consider on how willing any bank is on the criminal path as the worst thing they face are fines at a mere percentage of the takings, when they call that the cost of doing business, how long until Australia is thoroughly tainted in a similar way?

the fact that ABC gave us 4 weeks ago (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-01/google-facebook-make-billions-in-australian-sales-pay-little-tax/11060474) ‘Google, Facebook make billions in Australian sales but pay less than $40m in tax‘, do you not think that overhauling the tax system so that these players pay a fair share is a much better solution? Do you think that paying 0.000002% or less is acceptable? Besides that, the least said about the former car industry and their option for legalised slave labour the better.

Should we not prosecute every treasurer over the last 10 years, and after that see what we can do? I am not some anti-capitalist, I understand that capitalism is a driver and a powerful one, yet even at 1% (giving us at least $200,000,000) would solve a fair amount of issues, would it not? So whilst politicians are wasting our time with “Both companies are facing various probes by regulators in Australia and overseas over issues relating tax“, the entire tax mess should have been addressed well over a decade ago, as such can we get the incomes off al treasurers between 2009 and 2019 back please? This treasurer, if he does not adjust tax laws would be allowed to keep $1 for his attendance.

When we make this law the issues change and yes, we will get all kinds of threats, but they can equally fuck off and bleed someplace else dry. I am certain that a market share of 20 million will draw in other potential investors, because 20 million consumers will want all kinds of stuff.

And whilst people like Greg Jericho are talking about the sweet spot, they all overlook the issue that debt will have to be paid back, that whilst we see that Japan, the US and Europe have no exit strategy to end debt, at present that debt will be there for generations, making them the bitches of banks and fortune 500 companies, plain and simple. When the debt matures the quality of life in these places hit another snag, we did not and will not sign up for that.

I would love to see infrastructure fixed and improved upon, but whilst these idiots are unable to fix the tax system they have no business pushing the tax payers into deep debt.

And whilst there is no doubt that Greg is working from logic, he truly is; the issue is not: “Imagine being able to get a loan to upgrade machinery and equipment for your business at 1.5% – lower than inflation! – and you didn’t take advantage because you have a theory about how debt is bad“, he seemingly forgets that politicians are inherently stupid (they are optionally dumb and greedy in a nice compact package), these politicians ignore and push forward what they had to resolve, the amount of evidence on a global scale is overwhelming. And in the end, we the taxpayers get to pay that hardship, all that whilst tax laws were not dealt with a decade ago, how is that fair to anyone?

 

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Too grim a reality

It is not a new concept, it is not even original. My first introduction to the concept of mass executions was in a Star Trek Episode of 1966, ‘The Conscience of the King‘, the story about Kodos “the Executioner”. The backstory was: “In 2246, an exotic fungus destroyed most of the colony’s food supply, and its inhabitants, of which there were eight thousand, faced starvation. Kodos, implementing his own theories of eugenics, selected four thousand of the colony’s residents to be put to death, so that the remaining four thousand might survive on the limited food supplies available“, so when we were introduced to Infinity War and Thanos, the scope changed but the premise did not. This is not an attack on Marvel in any way, the idea existed and that is not an issue. Yet the reality we face is actually a lot grimmer. It is a lot more dangerous, because in my view Thanos was an optimist. At this point we (due to political inaction), we might have to cull 97% of the human race.

Scary is it not?

To see this, we need to take a look at the guardian. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/08/un-environment-report-how-australias-political-parties-plan-to-respond-to-the-crisis) gives us: ‘experts rate Australian political response to extinction crisis‘ and that is where the problem starts, politicians are there to cater to big business (for the most) and this is not in the interest of big business. Politicians have a long standing history of not doing the right thing and not putting their foot down, so inaction remains for now the best we can hope for.

So where is the problem?

The responses give a much larger issue that they have been ignoring. When we see: “review but keep existing environment laws; a $100m environment restoration fund to clean up coasts and waterways, protect threatened species and reduce waste; $189m over four years for the “direct action” climate solutions fund, in part for revegetation of degraded land” reads like an absolute joke.

For this we merely need to look at the Adani Carmichael mine. ABC reported: “The CSIRO and Geoscience Australia said the modelling used by Adani was “not suitable”, and also cast doubt over the company’s plans to protect important environments. “A number of limitations were also identified in the proposed monitoring and management approaches, indicating they are not sufficiently robust to monitor and minimise impacts to protected environments,” the agencies’ report said.” Even when we consider “Boost early warning monitoring systems between the mine and the nearby Doongmabulla Springs wetland“, as well as “Respond immediately to any unexpected groundwater impact“, when it happens it will be too late and the impact damage will have been done and finish it for generations. There is more; I wrote about it in January 2018, in the article ‘Vision or imagination‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/01/13/vision-or-imagination/) I looked at the Guardian, as well as the Cairns Post where we see “During a recent patrol blitz during the Christmas-New Year period, GBRMPA and partner agencies detected 41 instances of people fishing in the wrong zones, including no-take areas“, unless we change the rules where ANY transgressor gets their boat impounded and auctioned off for repairs of the Great Barrier Reef, this degradation will continue. In a setting where there is coral bleaching to any degree in 93% of the reef is a stage where we need to act differently, or we impose draconian laws to protect the reef, or we cull 97% of the population, I will let you decide, yet remember, politicians are all about promises and discussion, but they lack the balls to act or enforce. It makes for a better case to reduce the population (and resolve affordable housing at the same time).

It is even worse than you think

For that we need to see the words of Melissa Price, the environment minister. Her idea of: “investing in the protection of our native species and their habitats. We are investing billions of dollars to deliver a cleaner environment“, I have no idea what drugs she is on, but I would love to sample them as they are truly psychedelic in nature. You merely need to look at the impact of Cyclone Debbie and “Adani has been fighting to hide details of what it told the Queensland Government about the risk of pollution to the Great Barrier Reef ahead of Cyclone Debbie in 2017” (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-10/adani-spent-a-year-trying-to-hide-reef-spill-details/10090632). So when we see: ““Just give me a little detail and we can include and update [the temporary emissions licence],” a department staff member replied“, as well as “Adani admitted to breaching its licence, spilling polluted water into the Marine Park that was 800 per cent dirtier than was allowed” my case is pretty much made. With the apology if I sound too sexist, listening to Melissa Price and reflecting on ‘the protection of our native species and their habitats‘, I feel like I am reading a debate where a vibrator is defining the need of income for the service of any huhu where that owner shows it owns the vibrator it bought (a real graphic an none personal analogy).

So when I read in the article the response from Adani giving us: “We have elected to have the matter heard by a magistrate rather than pay a $12,000 fine, which should not have been issued in 2017 following Cyclone Debbie, and we look forward to resolution of the matter.

A $12,000 fine? Are you out of your fucking minds (I apologise; emotions got the better of me at this point)? In the end, we see that last month Adani paid the $13,055 (according to various sources) and the laughable failure of this shows just how massively the environment department failed Queensland, failed the Australian people and how it failed the environment. In light of such transgressions, in light of the utter failure what is laughingly referred to as: ‘The Environment Department‘ a clear case could be made to cull the population by 97%, CEO’s, CFO’s and politicians get to be at the front of that line.

Oh, and before you think this is me against Adani, you are wrong, Adani is merely one of the more visible examples from a list that includes hundreds of transgressors and the Australian Environment department is merely one of many that has been unable to protect the environment and truly pressure fines that start in the high millions and optionally demand and exercise a right of closure of plants who make these kinds of errors, yet that was not what this was about, merely a symptom of a much larger problem.

It is not much better on the other side of the isle. Even as we see what I regard to be labor party puppets giving us the blame game (like Tony Burke), we see “It is now clear we are on the pathway to a million extinctions, we are potentially facing the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet [and] Australia remains the extinction capital of the world. This reinforces the need for Labor’s comprehensive policy agenda to fight extinction“, just like other Labor party sided members (like Jeremy Corbyn). We see part of this in “The Greens were “deeply concerned that Labor has taken a weaker climate policy in 2019 than what they proposed in 2016, which was weaker still than what they took to the 2013 election”“, it is not all a given, but the facts are there. Even as this is more a tug between Di Natale and Bill Shorten, the issue is that they are all weak on the environment, because there is too much debt, too little work and for the most politicians have a track record of letting big business walk all over them, so a billionaire family like Adani and several others do not consider Australian politicians to be any more of the loud windbags than the politicians in America and they made an equal disastrous mess of it all.

If we go by the Conversation (at http://theconversation.com/shorten-distances-himself-from-green-overtures-on-climate-policy-116360) we see: “The decision for Bill Shorten is whether he follows the take-it-or-leave-it approach of Kevin Rudd in 2009, or negotiates with the Greens, just like Julia Gillard did in 2011, to deliver a climate policy that gives future generations a chance“, yet what we should see is: “Whomever gets elected has only this term to act, or the final approaching certainty that there will not be any future generations will become a slow but certain given“.

They all talk some talk, not the talks and NONE are willing to start increase fines by no less than 15,000% as well as mandatory closing of no less than 15 months of whatever plant makes the transgressions. In addition, the entire response of ““Just give me a little detail and we can include and update [the temporary emissions licence],” a department staff member replied” need to be met with draconian changes to the employment of whomever made that ‘little’ short-sighted consideration. The time to be nice has been over for well over a generation and the political players need to openly acknowledge that, as well as underwrite whatever law changes are required.

Any response of ‘but Adani will walk away‘ should be regarded as null and void, in the end if there is money, they will come, we need to stop facilitating to large corporations and truly change the way we do business and change the way that they are allowed to do business. The failure is seen when we look at Apple (perhaps the clearest example), when we see: “Revenue was up nearly 13 percent hitting $9.1 billion, compared to $8 billion in 2017“, yet we also get: “With bigger revenue comes a bigger tax bill. Apple incurred a tax bill of $164.1 million for the year, comprised of $127 million in income tax, a $30 million tax adjustment related to prior years and another deferred tax income expense of $7.3 million“, this implies that Apple pays a mere 1%, how will you fund any program for any environment when large corporations vulture entire nations? And when we see the Australian Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/news/politics/national/uber-in-labor-s-sights-in-multinational-tax-crackdown-20190505-p51k9n) with the smug response “the Tax Institute of Australia warned about extra regulation for multinationals, saying it could discourage companies from setting up operations here“, my clear (and slightly less diplomatic) response would be: “Oh, please let them fuck off! When they lose 20 million customers in Australia and an optional 68 million customers in the UK they will lose more and more, more market share and all the momentum they had!

Facilitating to big business is one of the main reasons we see a loss of environment and biodiversity in the first place. That evidence is shown to some degree by American documentary maker Sue Williams. She gives us (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-09/environmental-impact-of-the-iphone/7825360) in 2016: “more than 50 million tonnes of e-waste will be generated this year alone“, with the added: “this ends up in China, India and Africa, the devices were then broken down in unsafe ways where toxic chemicals end up in the water and air.” It shows a much larger issue and even as Australia might not be the place of the largest transgressions, we see that Australia has failed its people and environment in the most total way possible at present.

I wonder if the people will ever vote for the parties that truly are out there trying to set up proper laws to protect the environment, when that happens we will see a rush of panic from anyone riding some sort of gravy train, I merely expect it will be too late at that point.

So, even as we wonder on Marvel and its success, we should also consider that Thanos was an optimist; removing 50% of the population will no longer get it done. When you realise that actual truth, will you ignore it or actually demand change before you have to sacrifice the life of one or more of your children? You might laugh at this as it is not realistic, and it might not be in this generation, but that setting is not a given for THEIR children, not merely because the population will surpass 8 billion within the year, but the fact that when their children are born our population will surpass 9.5 billion, it will be too late at that point. Oh, and when we all accept the compromise to put in place the Chinese one child policy on a global scale, what excuses will nations offer when that policy is breached? Humanitarian reasons perhaps?

Should you think that this is some new revelation, think again! Especially when you consider the dangers that the movie Koyaanisqatsi (life out of balance) showed in 1982, almost 37 years ago. The mere realisation of what the city of New York needed to feed its masses (overfeed its masses more accurately), and we see that the matter got worse, the inaction of politicians globally makes even less sense.

I merely wonder what excuse the politicians give, and who they blame when the collapse biodiversity is at our front door awaiting the label ‘extinct now‘. As we get reports upon reports and denials from its opposition, we need to take heed of the inaction on acts like overfishing and poaching, clear criminal acts that have little or no punishment, when truth comes to bare, remember that any elected politician after 1983 is directly responsible for the mess we see today. The entire push it forward is not to be regarded as a defence, or as an optional response. In my view there is no ‘I was not involved in that decision‘ it will be on their names and the names of their prodigy. If you doubt that, look into history on what the people did in anger to those called: ‘German Girls‘, Women from the Netherlands, France, Norway, Spain, Italy, Greece and a few other places; women who fell in love, had a flirt or for mere survival reasons got attached by a German soldier. They were according to records: “Women who married German soldiers and their children were stripped of their citizenship, interned and deported to Germany. Many of the offspring who remained were abused, attacked and confined to mental institutions because of their parentage. As well as the French part where about 20,000 women accused of sleeping with the enemy had their heads shaved; others were covered in tar, physically assaulted, stoned, spat upon and shunned. As many as 6,000 people considered collaborators, including many women, were killed“, when you read that part, will these people proclaim innocence, state some defence that ‘we’ are better than that now and demand safety for their children? I don’t think you comprehend the masses when it is enraged, these people will all be out of options, and let’s face it, when the big environmental disasters start hitting, the groups of soldiers and police and fire brigades will all be hit with other first casualties, and they will not be much of any protection for these exulted high earners. WW2 was perhaps the foulest example in history, yet it will be nothing when the biodiversity collapses under the pressure of pollution and too large a population, the political inaction will enrage billions on a global scale.

So even as we laugh at the silver screen and Thanos snapping its finger, we are getting to a place where we get to see the infrastructure and resources collapsing, and there will be someone pointing a finger at the politicians, at that point what will that person do? Will he (or she) become a version of 1966 Kodos the destroyer? Will he/she (too late) invoke draconian laws to undo the presented damage, whilst they know it was already too late?

I cannot tell, but I can tell that we are at the end of our ropes to instigate a solution, too many species have become extinct, we did allow our natural biodiversity be permanently affected to that degree.

I am however also aware that there is opposition to my view, one blogger gives a really good setting (at https://conservationbytes.com/2014/03/17/if-biodiversity-is-so-important-why-is-europe-not-languishing/), the blogger is  CJA Bradshaw and he gives another version, a less pessimistic version (in 2014 mind you), I do not agree, but I will not dismiss this view as it is well phrased, well written and gives good examples. He gives at this point a realistic view, yet at the end of this, we will be growing towards a population of 10 billion and there is a limit to what we can get from an acre of agrarian land, knowing that the planet is 30% land and the stage that the population that land supports went from 6.6 to 7.9 billion in a decade gives us a 19% growth in a stage where the growth of land is set to 0%, actually, that is wrong, some scientist claim (I use claim as I never delved into that data) that land capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops (arable land) decreased by almost 30% due to erosion and pollution, so not only are there more people, there is less place to grow their food, and that is actually really important. So as we create more land for crops, the ‘wild lands’ where the animals roam decreases more and more. To see additional dangers, we need to look towards places like Borneo lost in the time between 1985 and 2005 an average of 850,000 hectares of forest every year. If this trend continues, forest cover will drop to less than a third by 2020, so by next year Borneo and all the oxygen producing forests is merely a third of what it was, whilst the population grows and grows, is anyone worried about breathing yet? The same is happening in the Amazon region, the two largest oxygen producing areas gone to the largest degree. At what point will anyone realise that oxygen tends to be an essential need?

All unattended issues and we are actually running out of time, so who is willing in the end to snap their fingers Thanos style?

 

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The TV as a weapon

There is an old saying and there are alternatives to it. In Australia we say:

Q: Do you know the difference between ABC and Channel 7?
A: ABC shows you how bad things are in the world, Channel 7 shows you how screwed up your TV life is.

In the Netherlands it used to be NOS versus SBS6, and every nation has its own version. So what happens, when we see the millions of smart TV’s and Apple enters the race opposing Netflix? The New Daily gives the quote: “Spielberg who appeared live, touted the revival of his Amazing Stories anthology, while Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell then took the stage to discuss another Apple original, The Morning Show” with the added: “a range of new streaming entertainment services, as well as financial products, at a star-studded event Tuesday morning“. the message was apparently clearly brought and when we get to see: “Apple is expected to spend US$2 billion this year on original content to challenge established steaming players Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and the forthcoming Disney+ service“, we need to realise that Apple has an optional goldmine in the making. In addition we see: “Hot on the heels of the Google game streaming service, Stadia, Apple launched Apple Arcade in a bid to grab a slice of the multi-billion dollar gaming market“, which will be fun to watch as Apple has shown a keen interest in negating the need of gamers (which is not all their fault in all honesty), will they figure it out this time? At least with the established Android gaming platform size, Google does have a huge advantage for now. OK, apple does have a gaming community on IOS and I was not short selling that (yes, I was). Yet the overall view I have seen in the past gives a better light of gaming to gamers on the android, than the Apple (a mere personal view on the matter).

So here we are watching two streams being created. First is the Netflix drain by Apple and as soon as they realise that 2 billion is a mere stack of money, to get the TV series that get the people to sign up, even besides Netflix will requires series that surpass The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Haunting of Hill House, Bird Box and a few other gems, Netflix has the writers, will Apple have them? We all know that Game of Thrones will enter their final season, so there are plenty of needy watchers to pick up after that conclusion, yet if Apple does not have the IP, they are not going anywhere. Even with the added Spielberg Amazing Stories anthology, which was actually quite decent when it was initially released on VHS, they will still have quite the task at hand. More important, even if they have all the ducks in a row, they will still having to deal with the market shares of Hulu, Stan, Amazon and the forthcoming Disney + service as well (and a few local others). Do they have the IP when that goes online? I can see half a dozen series that could be hits, and I am not the only one. Plenty of dedicated story tellers will have a list. Yet, does the Apple executive (whomever Tim Cook handed this hot potato to), does that person have a clue? The difference between a good presentation and an actual good idea comes with a gap that can fit the Grand Canyon and many Apple executives are a little lost when they face that gap.

It goes further, having a great idea is not enough and most visionaries have that in mind. to see that part we need to reflect on: “Apple, which became the world’s first trillion-dollar company in August last year, had been dropping cryptic hints about the launch event for weeks, sending the internet rumour-mill into overdrive“, yet since then Apple lost well over 20% of its value and the next few ‘slam bam’ misers will dent that even further. The next part is interesting as it impacts gaming and TV.

To get a great product you need at the very least (before marketing gets to have a go):

  1. A script, a story that will compel the reader to go on. Loading it with sex and graphics will only hold a small percentage for some time. A great example of a near perfect script was I Claudius by Robert Graves.
  2. A cast that works well together, each good actors, but together they become ambrosia, wine and nitro-glycerine, all at the same time. Again I Claudius became the golden standard. With Derek Jacobi, George Baker, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, James Faulkner, John Hurt, Patrick Steward, Ian Ogilvy, John Castle, and John Rhys-Davies we got something unheard of. They were already good actors, yet together they created greatness, they are now globally celebrities, but in 1976 that was not a given, they were iron rods and the director shaped them into high tempered steel increasing their mark close to tenfold.
  3. The director. Not merely the man implying 3, 2, 1, action! No, he is the person that becomes the visual visionary and Herbert Wise delivered. The evidence is seen in his work. As a director he has 91 marks on his career rod and when we look at it all, it is all decent work, insightful work, yet I Claudius is a 180 cm person walking in Indonesia (where the average height is 152cm), it stood out tall above all others. So, even as we accept that I Claudius could not have been done without the cast, it equally required the right director to make it work.
  4. The Producer (in this case the BBC), who had to put up the dough with a need of blind faith and no idea how much they were going to lose. These four required to be completely in sync and they were as such I Claudius is still seen as the best BBC drama ever produced, even now, 43 years later we see that new TV series merely hope to equal this achievement, thinking that it can be surpassed is mere folly (yet optionally not impossible).

This is the setting that Apple is trying to get into and throwing 2 billion at it thinking that it will be easy by presenting a few famous people is as reliable as getting rich by spending what you have on blow and hookers. It looks pretty, yet it is an absolute non-winner 100% of the time. Finding the right people will be the task for Apple and as they are all competing for the same pig through increasing the value of good scriptwriters, yet they too are starting to look critical at the offers, because they lose value with every failure and often enough, they do not get to blame the director of the production company, they get to be the scapegoat. So they will require their optional bosses to set an income and levels of freedom and commitment to a much higher degree.

As for gaming

Gaming has a similar setting. It will be about getting the gamers on board and that requires a great product, in an age where Apple has been all about marketed iteration, they are vying for innovation? In a market they do not seem to really comprehend? I am slightly puzzled.

There the director is the project director; the cast are the graphic designers and the scripters and coders. The art and stage might have similar issues, but finding these parts to intertwine and interconnect is where good coders are required. Then there is the learning curve of the game. And it gets to be worse fast when it becomes a product relying on micro transactions. Ubisoft, Bethesda too never quite worked it out and the first screw up will diminish the value of the event overnight. Apple will have to steer clear of micro transactions in the first year by a certainty of 100% and in the subsequent 2-3 years for 90%. Can they afford that game? Their essential path will be the RPG games that call the horn of attendance for gamers on a global scale, if not, than this becomes a long term project that will not end up becoming a winner. In that they have additional competition form makers like Nintendo, their Switch is still gaining momentum and the games I have seen lined up for that system shows that Nintendo is taking this momentum extremely serious. I wonder if Apple has thought this through beyond their return on investment expectations from executives who rely in spreadsheets and lack essential data skills other than identifying their ROI and bonus column. Once that goes south Apple will take a few hits in short succession and they will be painful. If it goes wrong (I am not stating or indication that this is the case), they could face the hits where their total value is a mere 50% of what it was on September 16th 2018.

Yes, Apple could rise high with streaming on TV and consoles, but in the end they require the golden eggs to get there and I am not convinced that they have what it takes to get there. For the most it is an art, I have been involved in gaming since 1984 and I still miss elements in all it. It is both science and an art, the moment you separate the two is the moment you lose. That has been an essential given for close to two decades. Ubisoft got it wrong more than once, Bethesda took massive hits with miscalculations and they are dedicated experts in that field, I doubt Apple has seen that shortfall at present.

To illustrate that we need to look at a game called the Division 2, an Ubisoft product. Important fact, it is seen as a really good game, better than the first version and steps forward, at times leaps forward, some reviewers have stated that is sets a new bar of online gaming and that is awesome to learn. Now add the two headlines: ‘Ubisoft Patches Annoying ‘The Division 2’ Skills Bug‘, as well as ‘The Division 2 PC players report a 100% CPU usage issue, Ubisoft is investigating‘, on games this size this will always happen and the fact that it is looked at and fixed this early is really good, so this is not about pulling Division 2 down. This is what happens on games this big depending on online elements, which is besides server down times. A consequence of online gaming and in this Apple is as I expect it not ready to see gaming to the higher levels it needs to see it.

If they see these two elements as a method to use the TV as a weapon, a data weapon for additional wealth, we see a company that is about to get hit really hard. That is in the foundation of it all. I believe that they are making the same mistake that Microsoft made. Microsoft is talking a good talk, yet the people all over the world are seeing the impact, the most powerful console in the world is being surpassed by the weakest of the three. Their setting of always online, their bullying tactics, their essential inability to listen to gamers (or ignoring what they are being told) is what is dragging down Microsoft and Apple will experience that lesson in a very hard way soon enough if they walk that same silly line.

Just like Microsoft, we see a company that more likely than not does not comprehend gamers and will falter because of corporate ROI needs soon enough. They see the two as connected to grow better, but these are two separate entities (TV and Gaming) representing 6 dimensions that can go in any direction, when these executives learn that lesson the hard way and they are looking what to do next, I will offer Tim Cook my last $99 for the company (Apple, a fruit of the loom division).

Could I be massively wrong?

Absolutely, yet the Apple marketing need of the hype and their viral needs seem to be on my side, as the gaming industry as a whole tends to be as gossipy as any old tea lady, so word would have circulated into my inner core of contacts much earlier, as such I think that Apple is not ready, nowhere near ready, personally I do hope to be proven wrong. I would love to see more contenders in the gaming world, more choice, more innovation and better games is the consequence from that war, and I do love playing good games.

I will keep you all posted on what happens next.

 

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Living with choices made

We do that at times, we also endure the bitter fruits that we gained from choices. I made some myself, in two cases I trusted the wrong person and it costed me dearly, an invoice payable over decades. I get that, it was my choice, I was an adult and therefor I accept to live with the choice made. It is partially the reason I go out and expose bullshit artists’ because of the dangers that they represent, as well as their friends who knowingly stand by them. So when I saw ‘UK will not put officials at risk to rescue Isis Britons, says minister‘, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/14/uk-isis-britons-officials-risk-syria-schoolgirl-shamima-begum) gives us “I’m not putting at risk British people’s lives to go looking for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state,” I personally believe that this makes perfect sense. Some might have a bleeding heart when they see: “it was revealed Shamima Begum, one of three pupils from Bethnal Green, east London, who left to join Isis four years ago, told the Times she wanted to return to the UK“, yet there is no way to tell how radicalised she has become. In addition, even as we accept that “Wallace said that as a British citizen, Begum had a right to return home, but anyone who joined Isis should expect to be investigated, interviewed and “at the very least prosecuted” on their return“, we also need to accept that would need to be under scrutiny for some time to come, she is optionally a direct threat to the Britons around her and as such her return also means putting pressure on the budgets of GCHQ and MI5, so there is that to consider. Now, I am not stating that is a reason to keep her out, yet when people state that they are so adult, so well informed and go to places like ISIS Syria, getting married to a Muslim she did not know, have three children with two of them dead is the lifestyle she chose. In addition there is another matter that I had not considered. Even if she is not radicalised, Sir Peter Fahy (former chief constable of Greater Manchester police) gives us: “The biggest challenge if she did come back will be how the police will keep her safe and how she wouldn’t be some sort of lightning rod for both Islamic and far-right extremists“, as an optional catalyst she becomes a new threat on other levels too, as stated, that was something I had not considered and it is important to see that as a matter that could lead its own life. In all the papers and media events we focussed on radicalisation and we forgot that the threat of being a catalyst is actually a larger issue to consider.

And the news is now pouring in from all sides regarding Amira Abase, Shamima Begum and Kadiza Sultana. As all focus on Begum, we know that Kadiza Sultana is dead, the other two were alive in August 2018, and the present status of Amira Abase will be looked at in the near future. My reasons for having the position that I am showing to have is that all need to be held accountable for their actions, not merely governments and large corporations, individuals as well. So when we see “Aqsa Mahmood, a former Scottish university student, has been put under international sanctions for her role as an online recruiter, with other female jihadists including Khadijah Dare and Sally-Anne Jones have called for terror attacks on social media and called on other women to follow them to Syria” (source: the Independent), we need to realise that a governments job is to keep its citizens safe, with the danger of radicalisation and being a catalyst becoming too large a danger, there is everything to be said to leave these people to their fate, so they either become a danger or they die. It seems a simple equation. Yet, we know it is not. The move by more and more Muslim girls (and women) from the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands to step onto the ISIS platform is a given stage for dangers, more than we see at first light. You might think of Robert Ben Lobban Wallace being a softy, think again, he is Sandhurst trained, and a Scots Guard commander with 24 years of intelligence experience. He knows what he is in for and he is more aware of most on the dangers that former ISIS women present. That needs to be taken into consideration before we give rise to: ‘Let Shamima Begum come back, say Bethnal Green residents‘ (the Guardian), ‘British schoolgirl who fled London to join IS pleads to come home to have her baby‘ (News.com.au) and ‘UK schoolgirl Shamima Begum who fled to join Islamic State ‘wants to return home to England’‘ (ABC). you see, the moment she is back and some misguided catalyst event explodes (optionally very literally), we will get all the accusations and all the pointing fingers of a failed police force, yet from my point of view, the people of Bethnal Green will not be allowed to complain. It will be the direct consequence of ‘let her come back‘ and the family members of those victims can ask those people for reparations and grief counselling. So as we see the impact of Shamima Begum (19) mother of three with optionally only one child left alive is seeing the impact of what she thought would be a fairy tale in ISIS. The people who stayed awake have been aware of the danger that ISIS is more than half a decade before she left, she merely listened to the wrong people and it got her family and optionally soon enough her killed. That is the impact of terrorism.

ABC News also gives us: “Independent of this, Home Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to weigh in on whether Ms Begum should have the right to return to the UK, along with intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 and counterterrorism police, who are anticipated to conduct further investigations into potential dangers Ms Begum could pose to the UK“, the issue is not merely that, the words of Sir Peter Fahy are important too, it is not merely what she does, it is what triggers others to do because of her that counts too and that is where the problem begins. This is not merely come algorithm, it is the dimensional impact that others will trigger at her presence, merely via news, or by seeing her. The part that is not about whether she was ISIS, but the part where others see her as a member of ISIS until she is dead, that is the larger issue and there is no way to set that stage in a dependable way. It is like fishing for sharks in the North Sea. You can go to places where they are most likely to be found, yet throwing out bait and a fishing line does not give rise to catching a shark, you could end up with another fish entirely.

It is in that light that I oppose the view of Amina Mohamed, 52, a housewife, who gave us in the guardian: “She was a baby, she didn’t know what was going on there. People played a game with her and brainwashed her. She was a child“, she made a very clear choice, she decided not to listen to her parents, and it is actually that simple. I do not have much on the parents of Shamima Begum, yet the Evening Standard gave us: ‘after deceiving their parents‘, so in all that, it seems to me that a choice was made and as such, they will have to live with the consequences that they created at the age of 15.

The BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47240100) if the sides in all this as even as there are sides that give rise to the responsibility of the British government, the question that we cannot answer is how radicalised has she become? The fact that we see: “She and two friends – Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana – flew from Gatwick Airport to Turkey after lying to their parents about their plans for the day. Their aim was to join another friend, Sharmeena Begum“, there is a part that is seemingly ignored by a few people. Not only did was she able to get to Turkey (so they had passports and they tend to take a while, and apart from the fact that an unsupervised minor got one), the fact that the BBC gives us: “The trio were picked up by smugglers working for the IS group and taken across the border into the group’s territory in northern Syria” that there was a logistical support system in place that set the stage for minors to get to Syria from Turkey, the costs that is involved (three times £175 plus additional expenses), the fact that Gatwick raised no questions on unaccompanied minors, the smugglers they willingly followed (so waiting at the airport), there is a larger support system in place for this. There was a recruitment drive and there is a financial stage in all this. There are clear reasons that no one on the ISIS side wants her to be able to talk to MI5, so the issue is not that clear and it is a lot more hazardous for those around any of the optional two still alive that make it back to the UK, so from where I stand, I see that Sir Peter Fahy is correct in several ways.

Investigating these elements should be high on the priority list and they might be, yet the coverage I have seen so far does not ask any of those questions, do they?

I do realise that the entire matter is more complex that this, yet the fact that dissemination of information is lacking levels of scrutiny is a larger issue that needs to be addressed. To see this, we need to consider to parts, first a local one. In Australia Jenny McAllister has voted very strongly against more scrutiny of intelligence services & police on several occasions. Now, that is her right and partially it is her duty to vote one way or the other. Then there is the Financial Times two weeks ago who gave us: ‘Foreign Office criticised over scrutiny of UK spy agencies‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/4a1cc4e6-2619-11e9-b329-c7e6ceb5ffdf) and we see: “The two agencies use section seven of the 1994 Intelligence Services Act, often referred to as the “James Bond clause”, to authorise activities overseas that might otherwise lead to criminal and civil liability under UK law“, yet in the same trend we see a lack of questions when it can be established that 15 year old girls are recruited in the UK, there is a logistical support system to get them to Syria and the media seems to remain oblivious to a much larger degree (it is the people need not know approach) to something much more pressing in all that. I must have forgotten the lessons on common law regarding the recruitment of children for criminal purpose, how did that go again?

So when I see: “Such missions could include MI6 agents breaking into properties in foreign countries to obtain documents or GCHQ infiltrating computers and networks in ways that might otherwise fall foul of UK laws“, which is a larger implication when a 19 year old is having her third child and it raises no questions, especially as the marriage might be seen as illegal?

At that point my question towards Dan Dolan, deputy director at Reprieve, who is so about doing the right ‘thing’, will be about: What should we do? How far are we allowed to go to prevent recruitment and radicalisation of minors straight out of primary school? How far are we allowed to go to keep British children safe? I think that plenty of intelligence operators lost the plot in the Huawei events (which the Financial Times endorses with a photograph), yet when it comes to threats like ISIS the intelligence industry hasn’t even seen the outer limits lights at present, I am not entirely sure if they are able to tell the colour of those lights when asked. the larger issue is that the intelligence operators are not merely walking a tightrope, they are walking one that is covered in razor blades and at any time there is not merely the risk that it cuts into the feet, it is also a risk that it cuts the rope they are walking on, giving rise to additional hazards, Shamima Begum is merely one of several risks at present and it is important to realise that a Queensberry Rules approach is not merely making us human and humane, it is getting us killed with 99% certainty, the opposition does not warrant, endorse of accepts any kind of rules. I do hope that the recruitment of 15 year old girls will suffice as evidence at present.

 

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The Australian Catastrophic Colliding Canine

I tend to keep my eyes on Europe, mainly because what impacts the UK today will have an impact on Australia a week later; in addition to that, what happens in Japan today when it comes to consumer electronics and mobile events will get to Australia 3-5 years later. In that respect having a larger view on matters is essential to keep an eye on what could become an impact tomorrow.

Yesterday was different, with ‘Regulation needed to save Australian journalism from Facebook and Google, watchdog says‘ we see the impact for Australia now and to be honest, I can’t stop laughing at present. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/11/regulation-needed-to-curb-facebook-and-google-competition-watchdog-says)

When I read: “Rod Sims, said the digital platforms inquiry, which delivered its preliminary report in December, reveals that the market power enjoyed by the digital behemoths is weakening Australian media“, the giggles increase. Especially when we consider ‘the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news’, well we could consider that the Australian media is for the most not doing that either. For the most Australian media is weakening Australian media plain and simple. To name but a one issue, October 2012, I alerted the media to an issue impacting 30 million gamers within the commonwealth. I directly alerted Channel 7, Channel 9 and the Sydney Morning Herald; the all ignored it to the largest degree. There were clear screenshots on how the impact was given, yet the left it on the left of what was important. A change by Sony for their gaming community 3 weeks before the PS4 was released, they all (except for the Australian Guardian) ignored it for the most, and perhaps it was not news? What they (as I personally see it) intentionally ignored is that the Sony Terms of Service is a legally binding contract, the mention of a memo is merely a piece of paper that could be ignored the very next directors meeting. The press needed advertisement dollars and Sony is high on that list of needs, PlayStation 4 was big bucks, plain and simple. In addition there were debatable reviews of Microsoft for the period of two years and the least said about Apple the better, as I see it Australian Media is its own worst enemy. It is my personally view to size up global media as a collection of prostitutes with a priority towards the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers, the audience comes in 4th position at best. So when I see: “However, while taking the lion’s share of advertising revenue, the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news“, we need to wonder where Australian quality news is found. I will agree that this is found at SBS and ABC, but they are the two exceptions to all this.

When the British Daily Mail gives us on the 9th of February “Respected Channel 7 news reporter Emily Angwin (pictured) was said to be furious at a number of work emails questioning the integrity of the newsroom in Melbourne” is anyone actually surprised? Is it true? We cannot tell because in many ways most of the Australian media is no longer that reliable. And from my vantage point it becomes worse when we go to https://au.news.yahoo.com/. Here we see above the fold ‘Hero pitbull breaks out of home to find help for owner during gas leak‘, ‘Restaurant blames waitress for ‘incredibly racist’ receipt‘, and ‘‘Whoah!’ Man’s breath test returns ‘biologically impossible’ result‘. This is the kind of emotional reporting that gives news a bad name. Compare that to abc.net.au where we see: ‘Global drug trafficking operation run out of Villawood detention centre, phone taps reveal‘, ‘Missing persons expert slams investigation of young mother’s suspected homicide‘, as well as ‘Why the AWU wants to question Michaelia Cash in court over union raids‘. So one is clearly about news, the other is about creating emotional events. I let you decide which is which, and as we take notice of: “Given all this, it is also vital that media businesses are not disadvantaged through the exercise of market power or other mechanisms that make it difficult for them to compete on their merits” We see that the there is another case in dispute. The dispute is ‘media businesses‘ versus ‘journalism‘, so I hope that the ACCC realises that not only are they not the same, they are at present mere dimensions apart.

And questions need to be asked at the Channel 9 address as well. We can agree that the headlines are better than those of Channel 7 when we see: ‘Exclusive: Vampire Killer Tracey Wigginton’s disturbing new posts‘, ‘Man found with gunshot wound to his stomach in Melbourne’s north-west‘, as well as ‘Snorkeller found dead on sea floor off Mornington Peninsula‘, yet there too we have issues as every news item gives us headers and banners of advertisement. News is news and the main players have resorted to self-indulgence of advertising, reloading at every page. The journalism is merely second best at best.

It becomes a different puppy when we look at the mention “The financial viability of these businesses is also not assured as demonstrated by BuzzFeed and Vice recently announcing redundancies in Australia, as well as worldwide“, you see from my point of visibility, we see the Wikipage part (for mere illustration) where the visible information is: “Originally known for online quizzes, “listicles”, and pop culture articles, the company has grown into a global media and technology company, providing coverage on a variety of topics including politics, DIY, animals, and business.” Now, I have seen those buzzfeeds on my Facebook page and I decided not to give them any consideration (as a news source). Even as we now see (I was honestly not aware) “In late 2011, Buzzfeed hired Ben Smith of Politico as editor-in-chief, to expand the site into serious journalism, long-form journalism, and reportage.” We can accept and appreciate that Buzzfeed was taking a serious gander into journalism, yet when people are not aware (or another part of them has created more awareness), we get the impact of consideration versus awareness and non-awareness loses clicks, it is that simple, and the same applies for Australian sources. For the most, the only Australian sources I give consideration to are: ABC, SBS, the Guardian (Australian edition) and that is pretty much it; the rest is too often a waste of time. When we are serious about news, we go to the places where they offer it, not where they claim to offer it. That is how I personally see it and I use the Guardian as a source (as it is free) and I neglect the Times (most often) as I am not a paid subscriber and I feel it is money not greatly spend when I am, like most others on a budget, as such it is not money I have available to do that. It is an important factor as I am merely one of many that need to get by on a budget, that too impacts the news and the ACCC is a little ignorant on that part as well.

They might want to strike out at Google and Facebook. Yet Google News gives us ALL the headlines, from almost every source and that links to the local news articles. So when we see “The preliminary report recommended a powerful new authority to oversee the commercial activities of Google and Facebook” My question becomes ‘How is that going to make a difference?‘ In the end this is not about journalism, but about media and they are not the same, if the ACCC wants to make an actual impact, looking at the quality of journalism we will see that Australia will be left with the Guardian, ABC and SBS. When we were introduced to: “The Turnbull government has announced a funding freeze for the ABC but a boost for the Special Broadcasting Service“, whilst the boost is a mere $14.6 million over two years, when we realise that this all reads like a joke, how useless is the ACCC in all this and whilst we see the decimated pool of journalists, what are they doing (apart from wasting our time on something that the seemingly see as a waste of effort and budget), it is from my point of view a mere article on the foundation that reads: “Australian media is seen as irrelevant, we do not know what to do“, and it is shown against the likes of Facebook and Google, where we need to realise that they are also two different dimensions. Facebook is a mass advertisement channel, a channel that assumes that they know what their granular population wants through scripted likes and the scripted likes of the connections of that person, and Google shows the news in directions that the people searched in, or searched for. One is budget based, the other is user keywords based and the ACCC is seemingly in the dark on the fact that for the most people no longer see Australian media as relevant. That is shown a mere 34 seconds ago when I searched for “Channel 7 News” in the News tab, I was treated to: ‘Channel 7 presenter makes heartbreaking plea‘, ‘Ripped bodybuilder ends TV interview on a wild note‘, as well as ‘Caesarean birth to be broadcast live on Channel 7‘. As I see it, when it comes to visibility is seems to me that Channel 7 has a lot to learn as to the bidding on keywords as well as their methodology on how to properly position news, as well as their approach on how they want to present the ‘news’ (https://7plus.com.au/seven-news-sydney), for most people a 44 minute newscast is not the way to go (having one is still important for many though).

In the end, as I see it, the ACCC is up against the image of certain channels, their digital policies, as well as the approach they have towards news and advertisers. It is becoming less about journalism and merely about the positioning of media which is done tremendously below average. If you want to see how it should be done, watch The Guardian (UK) and BBC News (also UK), for those with language skills, the Dutch Volkskrant (at https://www.volkskrant.nl/), as well as The Swedish SVT (at https://www.svt.se/). As I personally see it Australian media has a lot to learn and that lacking part is not up to the ACCC, apart from them bashing the Australian media from drowning people in advertisements to a level that is just making them irrelevant. It is merely my point of view and I might be wrong, yet I personally do not think so. The foreign amount of visitors to the Guardian, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the French Le Monde (at https://www.lemonde.fr/) are indicative of my views.

So in all that, how are regulations going to solve anything in any near future?

 

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