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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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Why the objection?

We all have it, we all object at times. I am not stating that an objection is irrelevant, wrong or short sighted, because as we might not know all the fact, no conclusion can be due to a lack of data. Yet, the objection of Jordan seems wrong to me, especially when we consider the quote ‘Jordan’s state-run media said the new Israeli airport near its border violates the kingdom’s sovereignty‘. The article (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/israeli-airport-open-jordanian-border-190121102753669.html) gives us the goods on the newly opened airport, soon also to be an international airport is from my point of view a really good idea in more than one way. You see, Ramon Airport gives people a direct option to Eilat, a wonderful place to behold (I was there in 1982). It has the views, the water, some entertainment, a nice aquarium and a few other parts that make it to be a very nice holiday destination.

In addition, it opens up tourism dollars to Aqaba (Jordan), as well as dollars to Taba (Egypt). Las but not least, the new city of Neom, which end just to the south of there will be easily reachable. It will further growth to Neom and Eilat, as well as commerce in that region going all the way to Sharm-El-Sheikh. There is close to no valid reason to oppose it. There might be unknown reasons to me, I just cannot tell at present.

Ben Gurion airport needed an alternative for the longest of times, and now there is one. In light of the activities by Hamas, Ramon airport is a good thing to have. To be quite honest, whilst I am typing this, i am thinking back to the lovely days I had there as well as the great shoarma’s I had at a gas station near the aquarium. It has been 36.5 years and I still remember those shoarma’s.

There is another matter that will rear its head soon enough. As the completion of construction continues, the need for a new digital marker in visibility is of equal importance to Eilat, Neom, Aqaba, Taba and Sharm-El-Sheikh. You see, they will only get visibility if they raise awareness and that is seemingly not happening.

To get the two at the top when we seek “Eilat Tourism” is nice, but nowhere near good enough, your business is only as good as the awareness you create and or the most, and there is not a lot of awareness. the fact that there is an Irish place there (at http://www.paddys.co.il/), and they are not above the fold and not bidding on the keywords is quite honestly a mistake, in addition, the website looks good on desktop, but well over 50% is searched via mobile and at that point there website requires an overhaul on a few levels. The switching to the English site was amazingly slow and that is just for starters. As tourism grows it will be about who knows you and how easy people can find you, awareness is everything. It is not too late, it is merely January so they have time to repair what is there, but it needs to be done and this is the one that was visible. There are many that are not even visible and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why.

There is a lot more, but that is not important right now.

The message for Aqaba is not much better, we can argue that Aqaba was never intended as a touristic place, which makes perfect sense, but why not profit on the back of all this? This proclaimed jewel of the red sea is there to be an asset for Jordan, and as such people need to know that this is an important place to consider, especially as they are a short bus ride from Eilat. I found their Tourism site more appealing, yet also slower. The webmaster was trying to be clever about it and basically shot himself in the foot in the process. If it is slow on the desktop, it will be a nightmare on the mobile (and it was) and as such they lose a lot more visibility. As stated before well over 50% is sought via mobile and these places are mobile unfriendly. I get that they might not have been ready in 2015, yet in 2018 it is an essential path to consider, especially in tourism, the digital footprint is close to everything there.

Both Aqaba and Eilat know that the digital life is important, yet why they failed to the degree that they have remains a mystery for now. In all this, it is my view that Taba scores to low to have an actual digital footprint, I reckon they could have done better and have a better tourism return, yet with Taba being in the Sinai, there might be additional problems for them. Almost the same could be said for Sharm-El-Sheikh, but they started to grow visibility in the early 80’s, it also had other hardships to deal with, yet as they are opening themselves for business, having a proper digital footprint is essential and they do not have one. So even as ABC news gives us: ‘Egypt welcomes back tourists after seven years of political instability despite security concerns‘, it seems to me that they are nowhere near ready at present and there is no direct consideration whether this is due to ‘security concerns’ or if there is another cycle of changes required. No matter what they are waiting for, the digital footprint will be essential to gain growing levels of awareness in that region. I know from others and from the past that diving and water activities used to be decently high, so regaining that footprint should be an essential first step. In addition, even as we agree with the ABC headline ‘Any help on tourism front is a positive for Egyptians‘ without a growing awareness element, it will not matter too much down the road. They can hope for a large infusion as Neom grows, but that would be disastrous too as we see a much more eager growth in both Aqaba and Eilat, if people need to make a choice, the size of Sharm-El-Sheikh dwarves to the visibility in offers that the other two have at present. Even as we saw Reuters treat us in mid-2018 to: “an 80 per cent increase in revenues from the previous year“, the direct reality is that 80% more of little is still not a lot. It is more visible when we consider: “However, for many working in the industry, including in South Sinai, the official increases are not quite paying off yet, as direct flights from places like Russia to Sharm El-Sheikh are yet to resume“, I see the lack of a digital footprint as a direct result of the lack of growth for the moment (I am not ignoring the security issue).

What is lacking in one will benefit the other and that is where larger options for growth in both Aqaba and Eilat become apparent and both could profit. Also, as the entire region is linked more and more to Neom, we see additional options for growth for all concerned, yet none of it matters when awareness is kept to a minimum. No matter how we slice it, the tourism will be on the rise in Eilat soon enough, it will rise enough for Jordan to find cooperation there and grow tourism to both Aqaba and Wadi Rum, both are within 35 Km and as such taking an additional day to see both places will be well worth the effort for all tourists visiting the Gulf of Aqaba. When that starts happening, Haql, who will be on the northern border of Neom City, which is only 30 Km from there would benefit greatly in that regard. Consider any tourist and the option for them to go home stating that they went sightseeing in Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia within a week, remaining close to the beaches and enjoying the sunshine almost every moment in this, who would not be envious hearing those words?

From my point of view, growing the business will take time and it all starts by having a clear digital footprint, without it these places will remain lost and unfound, it is a solution that could be done by most web designers and proper SEO consultants overnight. I merely wonder why no one looked at this before; because there is no way that I was the only one noticing this.

I wonder which of the three will catch on the quickest in 2019. I am not dismissing Sharm-El-Sheikh, I merely remain aware that they have a lot more elements to overcome at present.

 

 

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Behind the facade

There is a question, there are several questions and for the most we have been ignorant of these questions because we give more unruly validity to the populist masses. ABC questioned it yesterday evening with: ‘Why is Huawei so controversial and being targeted by foreign governments?‘,  the article (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-07/why-is-chinese-tech-company-huawei-being-targeted/10593156) is an excellent piece by both Ian Burrows and Jack Kilbride, and it is brilliant that for the most we see questions, we see questions that are important. In equal measure we see answers and points made. Points that most of the media shunned from, it all starts with: “The dramatic arrest in Canada of a top Chinese technology executive for possible extradition to the United States has sent stock markets plummeting and cast doubt on a recent US-China trade truce“. We see the shot across the bow with: “Reports say Ms Meng is facing extradition to the US on suspicion she violated US sanctions against Iran“. So there we have that they are not giving us the fact that they have evidence, merely that they have suspicions and that is why the extradition had been started. A woman in high office and that is the one you arrest, right? The fact that Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei might merely be icing on the American cake. As I personally see it, it has nothing to do with any of that, it is not about any option that involves Iran, if so dozens of Indian nationals and Russians would have been in a similar state, yet they are not. America is not acting there are they? No, America is afraid, it has been for a long time and for the longest of times they were looking in the wrong direction. As the cowards they have shown themselves to be 4 times over, they got played and Huawei, especially Ren Zhengfei knows how to play this game and brokered deal after deal. Facilitating towards fintech, but not facilitating to fintech, two very different stages. And now we get: “It says it operates in more than 170 countries, has 180,000 employees and serves more than a third of the world’s population“, that is the fear, because if wealth is set to the currency of data, American businesses don’t really hold a candle anymore do they? I have the goods on $2 billion in value, yet I do not trust anyone, especially the American corporations that hide behind ‘misunderstanding’, ‘miscommunication’ and inflated or deflated values as their need for greed requires. That is why people go directly towards places like Google and Huawei as they tend to cater (more) correctly, as long as their corporate targets are met. The fear of no longer being regarded as an entity that matters is the new fear of America. And with 1/3 of the population catered by a Chinese conglomerate and well over 40% by others moves America from the number one players to a player in the top 6. And you know Americans, they only respect number one, and the idea that this is a Chinese company is just too offensive to them.

The article has more. When we revisit “New Zealand’s international spy agency also followed Australia’s lead, banning the use of Huawei equipment in its planned 5G upgrade, saying it posed a “significant network security risk”“, we are introduced to more lies, lies propagated by America. It was an utter step of stupidity. At present no evidence has ever been submitted that Huawei was a risk and the idea that they serve a third of the population is a debilitating fear that America is unable to deal with, it is like anti-communism on steroids, a new cold war where America is optionally not in pole position. You see, this is in opposition to MI6 chief Alex Younger, he never claimed this. He stated that the British government (or any government for that matter) should never be at risk and should never hand out such levels of infrastructure risk to others. That is perfectly valid, it is a policy choice and the United Kingdom would be well off to take that step. Now we do get that it makes things harder for others, yet in an age of data to not have your own technology in place is ludicrous. That is a fair point to have, and that is valid, very valid. Yet the simpletons under us give us unwarranted and invalidated ‘significant network security risk‘, so please feel free to explain to me when stupidity was a good idea in any setting of data or security?

Concerns

There are concerns when ANY company growths to the size of Huawei, we cannot deny that, you merely have to look at the stupidity Facebook has shown in the last 61 weeks, three days and 6 hours to realise that part of the equation. And the article gets us to a statement that matters, so when we see: “There has long been concern that Huawei is not that separated from some of the Chinese security apparatus and there are suggestions its equipment could be used for spying“. OK, the concern is valid, yet is it happening? Is there a cause for concern, for genuine concern? Optionally there is and it merely gives empowerment to the statement that Alex Younger gave us, not the dozen of Punch and Judy characters claiming the unproven ‘significant network security risk‘. There is a difference you know.

We can argue that there is another part that matters. I remember reading a paper form Shanghai University (2010) who made the setting that there is a theoretical part in AES256 that makes it viable to unnerve the encryption (I did not say hack it). It requires quantum computing skills, but still there was an interesting part in the paper that reminded me of another stage (I will not go deeper into it now).

Going back to the concerns, we see a part by Fergus Hanson, that is valid, yet is it a real concern? He gave us: “The biggest concern is, whether they want to do it or not, they can be compelled by the Chinese Communist Party to spy and conduct espionage on the Chinese Communist Party’s behalf“, I am not sure whether it is valid. It should not be ignored, yet in this age of economy and revenue (and profit) would you want to endanger the goose with its golden eggs when a third of a population is using your products? When you get people by the billion handing data to Facebook and a league of other sources, when that data is already accessible, why push further at present? That is the stage Chinese intelligence is in, and even as we cannot ignore that danger, do you think anyone in the Chinese intelligence chair (namely Chen Wenqing) would be allowed to keep his seat if he directly endangered Chinese economy to that degree?

And how did China react? When the opportunity came up to bash President Trump and his personal iPhone, we see: “Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed the claims and suggested that “if they are really very worried about Apple phones being bugged, then they can change to using Huawei,” instead“, in one shot, brilliant!

When China is that proud of its devices, would they want to be proven wrong? Would they want to?  And whilst we consider how to hack the phone, we forget that there is another way: Kaspersky (at https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/hacking-cellular-networks/10633/) gave us all the way back in 2015: “It was last year when a new method of attack on cellular networks was discovered. It requires neither costly radio scanners nor PC powerhouses and is available to virtually anyone. Besides, carriers have no practical means of protecting against this type of attack“, everybody is crying over the milk being stolen whilst criminals are getting direct access to all the cows in the land, how did that make sense, like ever?

And the hacking gets to be worse. One source giving us: “Interestingly enough, the 3GPP, the organization in charge of setting mobile data network standards and enforcing them, also acknowledged the issue in 2006 but chose to do nothing about it. Researchers brought up this vulnerability to the world in 2015 in a paper titled: Practical attacks against privacy and availability in 4G/LTE mobile communication systems.  That same year, the ACLU managed to obtain documents that described the stingray surveillance device had identical functionalities. In the following year, Zhang Wanqiao of Qihoo 360 extended the practical attack described by the initial researchers and presented on it at DEFCON 24 in August of 2016. Now, at Ruxcon in October of 2016, the attack has been demonstrated and been proven to work on all LTE networks with readily available gear“, and in all this Huawei was never part of this, yet that is where the focus remains and whilst this push goes through, we see a short sighted approach. I am not worried on the risk via Huawei, there is enough evidence out there that the concern is not ‘Is Huawei the danger’, it is whether these so called politicians playing with their Punch puppets are setting the stage that hacking becomes increasingly easy for others to hack it.

So here we are, in a stage where America is already facing energy hikes, hikes that started at a mere 5% hours ago as they agreed ‘to cut global oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day‘, something I saw coming two weeks ago. Now we get a new stage, not merely a technological one, it will be a field of what I call ‘techno-facilitation‘, As the 5G pressure changes, places like Huawei are pushing not for the parts they are rejected from, but the consumer parts, the smart devices that are added to more and more non smart devices on a daily basis. Some might have seen the ‘Samsung Family Hub 2.0 Smart Fridge‘. To oversimplify it, it is a fridge with a tablet on the front door (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaKh5qJrTKQ), as we see more applications towards smart devices, these solutions all require interfaces and there Huawei has options and already an advantage. You see, the chance of a players like Gorenje, Hoover, Beko or AEG taking their own department into 5G technology of get a Huawei package is another matter. Soon enough we will see that Huawei will merely spread out, perhaps not allowed be part of the 5G infrastructure, yet as Huawei has shown to be economically terrific towards the consumer, they will get more and more options, and every delay and disappointment the others are making will quickly infuriate the consumers and tax payers to a larger extent.

The bigger worry is not the one; it is the other (nice and cryptic). You see, Huawei can afford to wait to some degree, as we see the perpetuated non truths of devices being pushed forward, the replacements better do a whole lot better and they are unlikely to do so. When we see another failure in 5G start and we see transgressions and those screaming that ‘Huawei’ was a danger, the moment they cannot prove it and their ‘friends’ give us a device that is malicious, the blowback will be enormous. There is already cause for concern if we go by CNBC. They give us a few points that show the additional fear that America has on Huawei.

We get: ‘T-Mobile says a nationwide network will launch in 2020‘, optional a year AFTER Huawei is ready to launch 5G, and then we get: “most people won’t be able to access them since they’ll only be available in a small number of markets next year. Plus, the way we use phones today won’t really require the faster data speeds 5G will offer. Today’s 4G LTE networks are more than fast enough for all the video and music streaming you want to do on your phone“, is it not interesting that something as fragile as 4G LTE is to hacking, which has been known for the longest of times is still the pushed solution? And I personally interpreted “won’t really require the faster data speeds 5G will offer“, is more like a way to state, ‘we cannot offer it’ versus ‘You do not need it’, you merely have to watch Netflix on a tablet in 4K to see that need prop up overnight. All these excuses and intentional phrased denials in a stage without Huawei is why there is such a large issue. I get where Alex Younger is coming from, the rest is merely trying to avoid panic of no longer being a person that matters in the mobile industry, the fact that Huawei grew so fast and so large is the biggest fear that they have because whatever they win, Wall Street optionally loses. Screens behind mirrors, facades behind facades and they are all in fear of being considered redundant in a technological age that is still not slowing down.

And I am not alone here. The New York Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/opinion/huawei-meng-wanzhou-china-arrest.html gives us: “This week, the White House released a five-year plan around STEM education — science, technology, engineering and math — that is not nearly robust enough to make the Chinese even slightly nervous that we can keep up with their decidedly more aggressive efforts to train their work force for the next era of computing“, the short and sweet part is that America is not ready to take any lead anywhere for the next 15 years. In addition we see: “I am perplexed about why the Trump administration has been such an embarrassment when it comes to the kind of actual leadership and vision needed to keep the United States at the forefront of the tech race“. This is where he is wrong, you see this is not on President Trump, this is a failing that goes back to the Bush era, the era before President Obama. What had to be done then was not done and now the impact is a lot larger than it could have been. So when we see the quote “everyone would feel a lot more confident if the government was also focused on investing more in American innovation and if the crackdown looked less chaotic“, we see the fear from the US, it is not ready, it has failed innovation and the mistakes made are optionally debilitating the next 15 years of innovation. Chine is primed and ready and that is where we see the fear. American is pushing itself towards becoming a third world nation, they did this all by themselves, and it goes further than merely technology. The US has shown a lack of insight for a much longer time. As we see US Defense giving us: “The Navy is asking Congress to fund a conversion of its 600-foot stealth destroyers from primarily a land attack ship to an anti-surface, offensive strike platform, according to budget documents released Feb. 12“. It was earlier this year. It matters as we see merely 2 weeks ago: “The destroyer Zumwalt’s big guns don’t have any ammo, and the Navy may ditch them entirely because they don’t even work right“, so we are confronted with ‘a request for $89.7 million’ to make it better, that thing costed billions in research, it took half a billion to make, it is useless (decently ugly) and in 4 hours I had a $3.5 million concept solution to sink it. In all honesty I have to admit that my idea was designed to sink the Iranian fleet, but this vessel is just slightly too insulting for comfort. The Digital Journal did some of the legwork form me with: ‘Can’t fire its guns due to massive $1 million per round cost‘, ‘May lose stealth due to redesign limitations‘ and ‘Cuts to stealth capacity add up to many more risks in combat‘. The article (at http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/op-ed-accountancy-vs-usazumwalt-a-stupid-story/article/538102) has a lot more and my mere $3.5 million solution, which is a simple redesign from something made in the 70’s. I saw it as a way to turn Iranian cruisers into submarines (with air-conditioning). It is murder on the lungs, but good for non-Iranian morale and as such it was a great idea. It could be easily adjusted to park the USS Zumwalt at 18°38’18.9″S 147°10’15.3″E and help it grow coral for the Great Barrier Reef, all problems solved.

My issue links it as we see the problem, they are linked because we failed the STEM education path for well over a decade, so there is a massive shortage. There is a reason why the larger players like Salini Impregilo are looking at Universities all over the world seeking quality Engineers and they are not alone, the shortage is close to global and there we see the growing advantage that China is now showing to have. The fact that America is showing such levels of non-vision, even within their own navy results is exactly what they are shouting in fear.

I would go one step further in the proclamation that America is not afraid of what China can do, they have no one left to show them and explain to them what the Chinese capabilities are and that is a lot more fearful than anything else. That is how I see it (and I might per 100% wrong), yet consider the failings we have seen in the last year alone, the emotional push in places where logic require to prevail, the inability to counter what should not have been a threat. The Mabna Institute in March: “The DOJ says the hackers stole 31 terabytes of data, estimated to be worth $3 billion in intellectual property. The attacks used carefully crafted spearphishing emails to trick professors and other university affiliates into clicking on malicious links and entering their network login credentials” (source: Wired). Not the fact that it happened, the stage that it took forever to find and do something is equally part in all this. June gave us: “marketing and data aggregation firm Exactis, which left about 340 million records exposed on a publicly accessible server. The trove didn’t include Social Security numbers or credit card numbers, but it did comprise 2 terabytes of very personal information about hundreds of millions of US adults” and important here is that these are the so called clever people. Those with fat incomes and nice additional perks, if they cannot contain the issue, the underpaid, undervalued and overworked IT people at the US government truly have no chance at all, do they?

The facades behind the facades are shining through 10 windows all without curtains or coding (at https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/12/06/windows_10_security_questions_remotely_defined_answers/) and it gets to be a lot worse in 2021 when 5G hits full force everywhere, it is a cyber criminals dream coming true. Huawei is in all this merely the smallest blip on the radar and that realisation should hit us fast and quick, because at present, the only way to keep your data safe is to educate yourself, no one else will, they do not know how.

 

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The heart processes

There is an awful lot of technology news today or perhaps better stated a lot happened in the last week that we are made privy to. It is not exactly the same, and it is not that we are downplaying 70,000 cadavers are we? If you question that part, talk to The Independent (UK Newspaper) and ask a long-time foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn, on how the media screwed the readers over for the longest of times. The quote that matters here is: “For almost two years, the corporate media have cited a UN figure of 10,000 Yemenis who have been killed in the US-and UK-backed Saudi war. Recently, Cockburn pointed out that this figure grossly downplays the real, catastrophic death toll which is likely in the range 70,000-80,000“, it is merely another piece of evidence that shows just how unreliable corporate media has become.

Yet this is about technology (is it?). We start of in the precious life of gamers where we are treated to: “Blizzard’s divisive new Diablo title tops the week in games” (source: Wired), and to give you the dimensionality here. The last Diablo game was launched on May 15th, 2012 a game I have since launch day and I still play it today on my PS4. This game has kept me entertained surprised and challenged for that long and whenever they release a new challenge season where the rewards can really stack up in ultra-rare weapons and outfits, the stage restarts and we start a new character just to get there. Blizzard has been able to keep the attention of its gamers for that long. Do when I was made aware of ‘upcoming Blizzard Entertainment mobile title Diablo: Immortal at the BlizzCon‘, I was a little sad. Not in a bad way, merely in a way that I might still be playing Diablo 3 whilst also playing Diablo 4. You see, to have a hard-core dream team (a hard-core person is a person that gets one life, if you die at any point, there is no option to load it again, that person is gone forever) with paragon 150 on every class takes some doing and the long hours in all of them will make me a little sad. Yet this is not Diablo 4, this is Diablo on a smartphone, which is presently less of an issue and more of a ‘this is not me‘ part. I never have the cool new phone. I have a Huawei P7 and even as I have to replace it soon (dodgy battery) I will only do so when I have no options left. I am happy that I can get a really nice new phone for a sharp price, but it will not be the strongest the fastest or the most upgraded one, so gaming is usually not going to happen on a smartphone, which is no great loss to me, but that also means no Diablo: Immortal for me. And in the second, I want my diablo on a 55″ TV, not on some 5.5″ mobile screen. Staring at such a screen will make you lose your eyesight faster than a life time of non-stop masturbating, so I do not intend to go there. Microsoft does not escape the gravity here and is now expected to release Crackdown 3 in February 2019, which, after its initial announcement in 2014 some delay, almost the longest in gaming history, so again Microsoft sets a new record, but not a good one. This all follows the news in Mobile phones where the latest of Huawei is heralded as an absolute superstar by more than one reviewer, the most important part here for me is the battery that scores 10 out of 10, a 100% score, which is quite the reason. This high end horse is still cheaper than the Samsung, the Apple by roughly 15%-20%, yet at the same price as the Google Pixel 3. That whilst its baby brother the Huawei Nova 3i 128GB, which came out almost 3 months ago is 50% cheaper and is only minimally less powerful, as well as overkill for anyone that has mere regular use for a mobile phone (people like me) and it comes with 2 years manufacturers warranty, who would not go for that awesome deal (if you can afford it that is)?

Then we see several players bringing us a foldable phone, but one where the screen actually folds. There will be Samsung; there is also Chinese company with FlexPai. All new tastes of an old concept now pushed into another dimension, the screen. It seems that Chinese (and South-Korean) technology is taking leaps where others are merely moving inches. Even as Google is only in its third iteration of phones all three made rapid leaps forward. The roles have been reversed, where Taiwan and Chinese clones were cheap knock offs from the PC’s that IBM heralded (the one with the $2500 10MB hard drive), we are now in a revered stage where the west is trying to keep up with the east and their idea of novelty and innovation, all in a stage that is increasingly affordable by many, the first hurdle we all need to overcome and the Telecom corporations are only now starting to figure out the shallow marshes they put themselves on. Their game of exclusivity is about to go out of the window, older players like TPG who started really bad are now on top and they are in an auction fight with Telstra (who claimed to be so high and mighty) for the 5G spectrum, three years ago that notion would have been a laughing matter in more than one way. The field is changing and some players are out of their depth, especially as their depth perception was merely a virtual one and laced through ego driven presentations.

Yet when we look at Telstra we suddenly see news that is no longer available, it seems that Geelong news (https://www.bay939.com.au/) is no longer having the article that was supposed to be (at https://www.bay939.com.au/news/local-news/99401-nation-wide-telstra-issue-potentially-swept-under-rug) so when they said ‘under the rug‘ they were not kidding. Was this fake news, or was this the Telstra legal department in a ‘seize and desist’ action? I cannot tell from one one-sided part of information. ABC News (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-04/telstra-outage-leaves-hundreds-of-offenders-unmonitored/10463642) gives us: “Hundreds of offenders have been left unmonitored for more than 24 hours in South Australia following an electronic failure in monitoring devices blamed on a nationwide Telstra outage“, now this would not be a biggie, yet the question becomes, what kind of back-up was there? And even so, in most cases the criminals would not have been trying to edge their options if they were unaware at the time. When we see: “The company also confirmed the cause of the outage, describing it as a “complex issue” which technicians had worked through on Friday night. “The issue was caused by a fault in a vendor’s network and we had expert technicians onsite to assist them with restoration,” the spokesperson said“, we should realise that something like this could always happen, the fact that there was no backup and that the outage took 24 hours to rectify remains an issue. We see a little more with the quote “The outage has been blamed on faulty vendor equipment that had since been replaced. Telstra did not say what the equipment was, or name the vendor in question” (source: CRN), which now also gives us another part. You see, The government took Huawei out of the equation and will not give us a reason or evidence, and here we see clear faults and a downed system, whilst giving us ‘Telstra did not say what the equipment was, or name the vendor in question‘. I do not think that Telstra is allowed to have it both ways, are they? On the other hand, Michelle Bullock can get the balls for all I care. When we see her giving: “These sorts of outages disrupt commerce and erode trust of consumers in payment systems”, whilst I have had one outage in the last 8-10 years. ONE!, not once every now and then, merely one, at that point she needs to take a long hard look at herself and contemplate what ‘customer trust erosion‘ really is, because I proclaim her to be clueless in that regard. Whilst she is puckering up to Fintech people, and she needs addition apart from ‘outages disrupt commerce‘, she needs to consider what investments have been made by some players in the last 10 years and how many are merely fleecing and roaching of a well-built system hoping it will last a lot longer.

So when I see: ““Regulators are therefore starting to focus on the operational risks associated with retail payment systems and whether the operators and the participants are meeting appropriately high standards of resilience.” Bullock’s comments appear prescient as Telstra and financial institutions tried to hose down consumer and merchant anger“, yet when I also learn that the element not shown here is “ANZ confirmed that the outage had hit its merchants whose terminals are connected to Telstra’s 3G network“, so whilst there is now a direction that this is about a failed 3G Network moment, it is my personal view that Michelle Bullock needs to sit in some corner and shut the fuck up! The question is now whether the criminal monitoring part is also set on 3G technologies, because there is a much larger issue at that point. Not only is 4G consistently faster which gives us the ‘participants are meeting appropriately high standards of resilience‘, merely because of the consideration that ‘Communication in 3G networks may experience packet losses due to transmission errors on the wireless link(s) which may severely impact the quality‘, a paper from the Helsinki University of Technology made in 2008, so a system with optional issues that has been known for 10 years. That is why I asked for the muzzling of Michelle Bullock. This has nothing to do with any resilient of optionally very reliable system. This is about something on one flaw that we have noticed, whilst we see the optional foundation of ‘prescient’ as we revisit ‘Bullock’s comments appear prescient as Telstra and financial institutions tried to hose down consumer and merchant anger‘, prescient meaning ‘showing knowledge of events before they take place‘, which in her case means that she was shouting in some meaningless direction instead of asking the hard questions of Telstra. She becomes merely another stooge in the machine to aid Telstra in any direction required. This now links it back to Huawei (5G barred), the iterative actions of technology whilst we are being surpassed on every technological side. The full article (at https://www.crn.com.au/news/telstra-fault-takes-down-eftpos-and-atms-515080) gives a few more question, yet I will get to them in another article when I give you all a few more technological jabs against certain Telco players as they presented their ego and not their actual capability.

When we add the triple zero (000) call failures, the setting where we now see that “Telstra failed to deliver 1,433 calls to the emergency service operator on May 4 due to a network outage, breaching s22 of the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 and the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999“. It gets to be worse when you consider one source giving us: “deputy commissioner of State Emergency Operations Controller Mark Walton speak to media in Sydney on Friday. Mr Walton says an issue with triple-zero calls is not resolved, and Mr Gately admits Telstra did not notify emergency services of the issue. “We identified, through our normal processes, that things were not operating as normal,” Mr Gately says“, Yet Telstra allegedly seems to have notified Michelle Bullock to cool tempers in another stage. Double standards in a few ways and whilst we do not know the vendor of the supplied ‘faulty vendor equipment‘ (which weirdly was reported by EVERY news outlet, not one speculated on the owner) and until the hearing we might not know, in the end we might never be notified on whose faulty equipment it was, which in light of the barred Huawei equipment is a much larger issue and it should anger us all.

Technology is failing people, not because of the technology, but because of the corporations that used technology as the bottom line and now we learn that they seemingly never learned the foundation of the hard-core needs linked to all this. The Age gave us last week: “Telstra cannot give proper service, even with those extra 8000 staff. I have been trying to get Wi-Fi on since July. Promises were made, contracts were agreed to, then broken, over and over again“, it seems that an issue that has been around for 20 weeks, an issue that should take a maximum of three visits any of them less than an hour could have resolved it. There is a 72% chance that the first visit would have fixed it, yet the latter one is merely a guess. Even as we also see ‘Telstra vans – declaring “We are here to help” – are whizzing around my suburb‘ a seemingly simple issue that has been around for 20 weeks, I believe that the problem for Australians is a lot larger than they even realise. The issue is not the technology, it is the fear that a place like TPG, an organisation that would be regarded as a banana republic at best, could with the Huawei solution surpass Telstra, could even replace Telstra and that scares a lot of politicians, it scares them beyond believe and that is optionally the truth that we are not told, so as Telstra sheds jobs, sheds proper emergency services (whilst blaming Zeus and his lightning), we are closing in on the most uncomfortable truth. We are not allowed to leap technologically ahead as some corporations become utterly redundant in our lives and let’s face it that board of directors would not survive the label ‘redundant’ would they?

So how did games fit into this?

It is the first of several steps where people are better managed and anticipated when they have a much better mobile. You see, all the new devices, any mobile smartphone that was released after 2017 is no longer a mobile phone. You think it is, but it is not. These devices are now clearly evolved, they have become your personal data server and as you move forward in this mobile age your perception will change, it will be catered to every individual, it will cater to your needs and filter out what you do not need, or perhaps more precise, it will filter out what the system regards you do not need, which is not the same. The choice that was never offered to you is just as deceptive as the wrong choice given to you, do you not agree? And as 5G allows corporations to maximise their impact on your finances, these corporations require you to be ready from the get go. Corporations are finally accepting that gaming is a part of everyone’s life and pushing the latest technology onto these people has a large benefit that falls in their scope, yet is presently not always considered by the user, 5G will push those boundaries by a lot within 16 months of availability.

Telstra is desperate to remain part of that equation because those who are not no longer have a future and TPG surpassing Telstra was the one nightmare they cannot handle (Huawei would have enabled that) and there are more parts to that, you will learn those in 2019.

Oh and when you realise that some commonwealth nations end up being technologically second to nations with Huawei solutions feel free to demand the resignation of your local politician because of that. Yet, the heart processes and so does yours. The question is not merely that we control our hearts and that it does not overwhelm the brain with emotion, it requires us to take an additional cold look at things, and when we do that, how do any of the Telco troubles make sense? It does when the heart becomes an accountant, at that point it all makes perfect sense, but that was not our problem was it? We were expected to get the best deal, whilst the telecom players wanted the ultimate perfected profit wave, now that it bites back they want to change the deck of cards and make the consumer pay for it all, including letting them pay for the bad decisions they made in the past, do you feel obliged to pay for their screw ups?

 

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Consideration for dinner

It is Monday, Monday morning and I am in a stage of contemplation. There are all these events going on and for the most they are hollow, empty and merely the setting for the next stage for whatever the staging area needs to be. It is at this point that the Guardian gives us: ‘Two images that show we need to be sensitive about our photos‘, or perhaps the article started the contemplation I am in, it works either way!

The article was actually a quite excellent read, so well done Paul Chadwick!

Where’s Wally (Khlalid Masood)?

The article discusses Khalid Masood, who killed 5 people in March 2017 at Westminster. Now we get the goods. We are offered: “Over several days of covering the hearing, Guardian editors had access to a limited range of images of Masood. For one report they used a photo of him taken in the Great Mosque of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site“. We are then treated to: “From an editorial standards perspective, there was nothing wrong with the image. Legitimately obtained, it depicted a smiling Masood dressed in the traditional white, and behind him the Kaaba, the great cube, around which pilgrims walk seven times. Conscious that the Muslim community can suffer discrimination when terrorist acts are committed in the name of a political ideology that feigns religiosity“.

My thought becomes: “How many criminals and murderers were photographed in a church, or cathedral?” That does not seem to happen either does it? Of course in that specific example Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals were taken away from consideration in this case. I searched Google and a few other sources and I could not find an example. So when I see: “as a gesture of goodwill the editors replaced the photo for another image, a police mugshot. Muslims who had raised the issue were appreciative“, I do accept that the Muslims are appreciative of the gesture, yet the question remains how many criminals were photographed and observed in church? It also gives me the question on how they were able to identify Khalid Masood in that picture to begin with. I understand that the photograph exists; I reckon that the hearts of Muslims will flutter at the sight of being able to see the Grand Mosque of Mecca on the inside to begin with. I myself am struck with wonder, amazed to see this image. Not for the religious reason, but the fact that the original parts were build 1380 years ago is important. You see, it would take centuries until the Netherlands had decent housing (places not made from wood, or a mixture of shit and clay). The oldest house in the Netherlands is almost 500 years younger than this mosque and only parts of a wall in that Dutch building are that old, the rest of the house would not be build (or restored) until 230 years later. When we consider that, seeing the grand Mosque of Mecca should have an impact on anyone, Muslim or not. So as we realise that the building is not merely a beautiful building, it is a millennia old marvel for all the religious reasons, we understand that anyone would want to be photographed in that place and be recognised, but as you take a look at the inserted photograph (click on it to see the full version), finding that person, considering the resolution of the film remains a slight miracle at best. So what would have been the value of showing thousands of Muslims in that one place whilst we cannot tell with any certainty who exactly Khalid Masood is there. Yet, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/14/sensitive-images-upsetting-photos-essential-truthful-account), is still important. We see that with: “Coverage can justifiably include images of perpetrators but should take care not to glorify them. Had the photo related directly to evidence given in the inquest it might have been necessary to retain it“. I personally do not completely agree. If we accept that a picture is 1,000 words, which photograph ads a 1,000 words or more to the story? Is it the one in Mecca, or the photograph of the scene (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/12/westminster-bridge-attack-khalid-masood-lawfully-killed-inquest-concludes). I like it that Paul Chadwick makes us consider the use of a photograph and when not to do it. It gets us to the linking of another event. You might have heard of a disagreement between the elected government of Yemen and Houthi’s which has since spilled over into a much larger disagreement. the amount of times where the western world trivialised the attacks on Saudi Arabia whilst Iran backed Houthi’s were firing missiles into Saudi Arabia has been too large to ignore, In addition the Washington Post gave us a mere two days ago (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/foiled-paris-bomb-plot-raises-fears-that-iran-is-planning-attacks-in-europe/2018/10/11/2ccf8d0a-c8b9-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html). Here we see ‘Foiled Paris bomb plot raises fears that Iran is planning attacks in Europe‘. In this article, the use of the image of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) supporters makes perfect sense. In light of “The diplomat, based at Iran’s embassy in Vienna, had been under surveillance for some time and was suspected of involvement in a plot to bomb a rally of Iranian dissidents in Paris. Despite his diplomatic status, he was arrested and extradited to Belgium, where two others, suspected of planning to carry out the attack in France, were detained”, yet would the image of the ‘Iranian diplomat’ not have made more sense? The fact that he is not mentioned anywhere by name is also a consideration in all this. The fact that this indirectly links to the proxy war that Iran is having with Saudi Arabia is linked in all this. So when we consider these elements. So as we get back to the Diplomat named Assadollah Assadi, we need to some degree also look at Jamal Khashoggi. You see, you cannot turn a page in any paper and Jamal Khashoggi shows up. Probably best known as a contributor to the Washington Post, we wonder why he ended up MAAC (Missing as a contributor). ABC gives us: “But his troubles began later, when he was fired from his post as an editor at the Al-Watan newspaper just two months after he took the job in 2003. The country’s ultra-conservative clerics had pushed back against his criticism of the powerful religious police and a medieval cleric viewed as the spiritual forefather of Wahhabism, the conservative interpretation of Islam that is the founding tenant of the kingdom“, and the question becomes not merely did he vanish because he was a critic of ruling Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. I reckon that the Crown Prince has been surrounded with people disagreeing with him, as such Khashoggi might not have been a blip on his radar. Yet, when we see the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/06/read-jamal-khashoggis-columns-for-the-washington-post) we see a different story, one that opposes mine and I am fine with that. Yet consider that the people in charge in Riyadh are actually decently intelligent (compared to me) and the entire event in the embassy does not make sense. Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan is not stupid, he is a general and he has been around the war time sandbox long enough, to just let a person vanish in an embassy, whilst there are dozens of cameras pointed at it is not seemingly the brightest act. This leaves me with the setting that there is either orchestration, or someone not as bright listened to the wrong person and acted individually. The quote in the Post, which was “Dozens of Saudi intellectuals, clerics, journalists, and social media stars have been arrested in the past 2 months — the majority of whom, at worst, are mildly critical of the government. Meanwhile, many members of the Council of Senior Scholars (“Ulema”) have extremist ideas“. So here we have a setting that certain people are seemingly opposing the forward drive that HRH Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud is trying to move towards. The post mentions both Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan and Sheikh Saleh Al-Lohaidan and also we see “protected by royal decree from counter argument or criticism“. Yet when I search for these two men, I find close to nothing at all in the present media. Now, that is not an essential part, but in light of the Washington Post articles, I wondered what would drive an implied assassination this short sighted. Whether you agree or not, targeted killing is both an art and a skill and in the digital age, the skill outguns the art by a lot. There are additional parts that do not make sense, yet when you look at the larger picture, there is (highly speculative by me mind you) an active stage of attacking Saudi Arabia any way possible. the overly leftish liberal side to break up US sales to Saudi Arabia, the UK is on a partial similar setting, yet they trivialise any attack on Saudi Arabia (I did filter for the fake news from places like PressTV and a few other sources), yet the attacks are quite clear and even as I understand that the press at large (in more than one way) would want to be protective of fellow journalist Jamal Khashoggi and I get that, yet the absence of critical questions is also a larger issue. When you see this, does the openly defensive stance of Saudi Arabia not make sense?

So how does this get us from where we started?

There are two parts here. The first is the image of the Grand Mosque, whilst we know that Saudi Arabia is its protector, and the view from Paul Chadwick makes perfect sense. Yet, here too we should take caution on certain notions. Mind you, I am asking the question, I am not implying that there is more. that part is seen when we look deeper into the ‘Cricklewood mosque’ event of September 19th and when we search the international news bringers, the shiploads of newspapers that would strike out against Saudi Arabia and others in what I perceive to be non-hatred stories, yet they are certainly not pro Saudi Arabia, or pro Muslim, they did not show up in any google search when I look for the ‘Cricklewood mosque’ event, not at all. That too is important, whilst some are taking down the steam a notch, the opposition events are also ignored to a much larger degree. It leads us to the question, was the mosque image not added as it made for an overly clear anti-Muslim article?

The second part is the setting of events and more importantly how certain parties decided to illustrate them. Anything that is about Jamal Khashoggi carries his photograph and that makes perfect sense, no one debates that, yet when we seek Khalid Masood, we see no image of him in several Westminster attack articles, merely the stage and the victims. Now, here we see clearly that some will say that it might glorify him. There is equal voice not to give Islamic State any kind of visibility. I do not totally agree, but I understand the logic behind it. Yet the article I mentioned earlier, ‘Westminster attacker lawfully killed by minister’s bodyguard, jury finds‘ shows no mention of Islamic State at all, which is actually a little weird. all the other parts are there, the justification of the protective units, the victims, the stage as well as the attack on Sir Craig Mackey, which gets more light in another Guardian article with “The Express front page on Thursday read “Police hero who put his boss to shame”, comparing Mackey’s actions unfavourably with those of the armed protection officer who shot Masood dead, while an article on the Sun website was headlined “Mark of cowardice”“, the actions of Sir Craig make perfect sense and the Express, not the most intelligent player in the news world under the most optimal conditions was left in a clueless state aiming for (a speculated) increased circulation that day, whilst the actions of Sir Craig made tactical sense to say the least, cowardice was not a factor here as I see it. Mind you, getting fired at is unnerving under the best conditions, seeking out a hair storm of lead is just stupid to begin with and Sir Craig staying out of the way, especially as he had no useful gear makes sense. Yet the Independent gave us in March 2018: “A review by Mr Hill’s predecessor found that neither MI5 nor the police had any reason to anticipate the attack, concluding that Masood was “a long way from the top of anyone’s grid”“. From the little that I was able to access, all the elements make sense, the Guardian article leaving Islamic State mention out does not.

It is the illustration by the news that matters, because it causes a lack of illumination and more important we see the shifting balance of a seesaw in the direction of emotional acts, which has never been a good thing. There are questions regarding Jamal Khashoggi no one denies that, yet the stage we see ourselves in is expanding. We see this with: “The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda. Several sponsors and media groups have decided to withdraw“, as well as “US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox might not attend an upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, but White House aide Larry Kudlow said Mr Mnuchin had not yet pulled out.” Now I understand that such a situation would not have been expected, or even anticipated. Not by me. Yet, do you think that this was not on the mind of Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan? when we see settings that are adding up to half a trillion dollars, do you think that a Saudi event like the one we see now regarding Jamal Khashoggi would not have been looked at from every angle? And in light on how highly regarded journalists are in Turkey, the overreaction by turkey is equally unsettling (or let’s just call it suspicious). In the entire setting towards the consulate, we see that the one event now taking shape is a direct win for Saudi’s indirect enemy (Turkey as a supporter of Iran), no one seems to look too deeply there either. It does not mean that Turkey was involved, or that Turkey did anything. The mere absence of looking is an issue and that would drive the defence from the side of Saudi Arabia high up, all this in an action on Saudi soil (the embassy) where there would have been absolutely no tactical advantage for the Saudi government by acting in a building everyone is watching 24:7.

The elements do not add up and the photograph of the Grand mosque brought it to light (read: the forefront of my mind). You see, in opposition to the Christians and their bible (they have over 40 different versions), we see that there is ONE Quran, Sunni and Shia they all have the same Quran, exact to the letter, yet their split happened as you can see in the New York Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/world/middleeast/q-and-a-how-do-sunni-and-shia-islam-differ.html) through: “A schism emerged after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, and disputes arose over who should shepherd the new and rapidly growing faith. Some believed that a new leader should be chosen by consensus; others thought that only the prophet’s descendants should become caliph“, I am not wise enough to give any level of wisdom here.

I do feel I am wise enough to look into the matters we currently face. Until the press has a more balanced view of the matters in the Middle East, specifically the acts by Iran and the acts by Houthi’s in Yemen, we will see a prolonged level of distrust. Let’s not forget that the building of Neom in Saudi Arabia continues and that it is the utter need of American stability that requires cheap oil. In all this, merely going back to 2017 levels will drain the American economy to the levels if cannot sustain and its need to do business with Iran at that point will be the largest moral defeat the US has ever faced. In addition, the Saudi coffers are getting $73 per barrel against the optional setting that the prices return to $121 per barrel, as winter sets in the US (UK too) that impact will be felt by these populations to a much larger degree, so in all this an optional demand from Saudi Arabia to get the news more balanced is not the weirdest request. Yet the foundation of issues giving rise to the price of oil next month by a mere 2% is not out of the question, and that is not all. The overreaction by President Trump with: ““severe punishment” if Khashoggi, who has been critical of Bin Salman, has been killed“. Fair enough, yet in all this, he has been merely setting the stage where Russia comes for a visit and is the reason for cancelling orders, whilst Saudi pilots are suddenly optionally ‘retrenched’ to get better in using the Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F), and a few other alternatives. Shutting down options for American business seekers in Neom is not a good step to take either; no one can afford walking away from 1,000 billion dollars in projects in this day and age. In addition, for Saudi Arabia having a united technical air force corps with Egypt might not be the worst consideration either, and as ties with Egypt and Russia optionally strengthen in Saudi Arabia, the US will be finding itself on shallow ice with fewer options for their economy and even less possibilities over the next 10 years. All elements out in the open and it would be a strategy that Iran would love to see happen, whether it was to weaken Saudi Arabia or to kick the US where it really hurts, it would be an Iranian victory either way.

So when you consider these elements as well as the notion that for the most there is not a high regard for journalists in the first place (for a few years now), do any of the overreaching actions by certain players make any sense? It is there that we see the consideration for dinner.

Yet I could be wrong in all this. I openly admit that. I have had the longest issues with the entire Skripal setting, the Novichok debacle in Salisbury. Yet there is no denying the Reuters article that gave us ‘Russian website names third GRU officer involved in Salisbury poisoning‘ 4 days ago. With: “The Russian news website Fontanka named on Wednesday a third GRU military intelligence operative, Sergey Fedotov, as having been involved in trying to kill ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury“. You see, the facts did not add up, there was too much noise and too little reliability. I have no reason to doubt Reuters, yet I still have issues with this. I do acknowledge that they name a Russian site, yet I know next to nothing about the Fontanka online news agency. When I read (yet again) on this, and the fact that they all seem to know the staff directory of the GRU, as well as the setting of travel, there are things not adding up. Not the travel, that part can be verified in several ways. The fact that we now have a third player, one that apparently did not show up in all those CCTV stills, the fact that three people were involved in a failed attack does not speak highly of the abilities of the Russian GRU, is that not weird either? The fact that humidity decreases the potency of the Novichok, but the perfume was dumped in the trash, not merely ‘accidently’ dropped in a pond, where retrieval would have been unsuccessful and the lethality of the Novichok would have been close to nullified. So with Salisbury basically surrounded by the Avon, they did not consider dropping the ‘perfume’ in there? How badly are these ladies trained (me stating the need for a well-paid job and replacing Colonel general Igor Valentinovich Korobov), I mean, I could hardly do any worse, could I? Let’s face it, in Australia a general’s pay starts at $235,595 with 0 years of experience in that rank. I’d accept that as a starting wage (LOL), even if it turns out to be merely for a year.

Getting back to the Russian stage, Bellingcat gives us (at https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/09/26/skripal-suspect-boshirov-identified-gru-colonel-anatoliy-chepiga/) the goods which are hard to deny, but it is merely their word against others. Yet they also become the doubt in this. Even as we accept: “The suspect using the cover identity of “Ruslan Boshirov” is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award, Hero of the Russian Federation. Following Bellingcat’s own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have confirmed the suspect’s identity“. When we add “Anatoliy Chepiga graduated the academy with honors in 2001. He was then assigned to serve in the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade in Russia’s farthest-eastern city of Khabarovsk, one of the elite Spetsnaz units under GRU command. Chepiga’s unit (74854, formerly 20662) played a key role in the second Chechen War, and was also observed near the Ukrainian border in late 2014“, we see an optional picture of a dedicated Russian officer, no one questions that, yet in that light, how come that he was involved in active failures of this degree and in the end a second event caused the death of an innocent bystander?

He could have used a knife, a mere piece of thin nylon rope, all methods that optionally makes finding evidence a near impossibility. Then we get the doubt again with “The research team was able to find Anatoliy Chepiga in two locations and time periods in the database: in 2003, in Khabarovsk; and in 2012 in Moscow“, you see, even by their own admission, heroes of the Russian Federation tend to be really well documented, so why do we see awards, failures and almost no documented admissions (even less photographs, beside the point that most photo’s never made it into newspapers)? It makes no sense and that brings us back to the Saudi Arabian setting. Even now as we are treated to so called audio evidence, evidence that was debunked by the BBC on more than one level, yet in all this Al Jazeera gives us: “Technology experts are sceptical that Jamal Khashoggi was able to sync recordings from his Apple watch to a phone in his fiancée’s possession from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The claim, as reported in Turkey’s pro-government media, is that Turkish officials have audio recordings from Khashoggi’s smart watch that prove the Saudi journalist was tortured and killed while inside the embassy. Saudi Arabia has called the allegations “baseless lies” and it is still unclear how Turkey would have obtained the audio evidence“, I personally believe that Al Jazeera is wrong here. The BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45857777) debunks that story via Rory Cellan-Jones, the Technology correspondent. He does it point by point and does it with clarity, so in all this, why would the pro-Turkish government media blatantly lie about this? that and the other elements give doubt to all this and when we consider that it was optionally not a Saudi operation at all, we might be treated to a setting where the Turkish government is optionally involved in making the trade waters murky, optionally merely as a tool for Iran. What do you think is more likely and when we look at the photographs and the choices made, it is not merely contemplation for dinner, the entire setting of doing what is correct sheds a light on the media that is not as great as we hoped it would be.

Yet the BBC also gave us: “it seems far more likely that they have other means of detecting what foreign diplomats are up to and the Apple Watch story is just useful cover“, that we can agree on, both Iran and Turkey have every interest in keeping ears on every room in the Saudi Consulate and there we agree is the option that technical solutions are in abundance but without the proper vetting of sources, it remains speculation to some degree.

Still the actions in the consulate are a question mark, a person that is watched to this degree, acting in the consulate only seems to be the safer option, ‘seems’ being the operative word.

We need to take all these elements into consideration, whenever we ‘actively engage’ in settings of consideration, the larger picture matters, it matters a lot and even as I spoke out against the guilt of Russia as a state operator in Salisbury, the Bellingcat part is seemingly more persuasive in voicing that there is an issue, yet what I personally perceive to be the stupidity levels of the Skripal operation (for lack of a better description) is one that we should also consider in the Khashoggi events in Istanbul. So until the Turkish government gives public access to their audio files I remain in doubt. Clearly something happened, but what exactly and by whom are still elements that cannot be answered for now, and when we contemplate things that needs to be on the forefront of our minds.

When confirmed the implied image of Khalid Masood in the grand mosque of Mecca is merely the fact that he is Muslim, we already knew that, yet the Guardian also gave us the goods that he converted no earlier than 13 years before the attack, so after his prison sentence in 2000, so he was optionally a Christian for the longest time of his life, another part that few news media looked at to a better degree, the Guardian fortunately did. We are also given that around 12% of home grown terrorists were converts, considering that there are billions of Muslims, that number is interesting. It might not merely be about the conversion; it could be that those doing the conversion might have optionally left converts at the mercy of extreme imams, which is a debate for another day. It merely shows that there is a larger issue I all this and before we contemplate what is the right course of action, we need to realise that certain acts to stop intelligence gathering has been the shackles that prevent the intelligence community and the police to effectively act against lone wolves, moreover, there is less evidence that it can be stopped, for that you merely have to look at the picture of Masood in his football team when he was young, even as the one non-white individual he does not stand out, giving MI-5 a much larger headache then they needed in the first place.

Yes we need to be sensitive about photographs at times, yet when they also reveal that they basically reveal nothing, how would their use have value in the first place? Setting a stage, setting an emotional bias, or merely an illustration to make the article readable?

 

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Merely a week ago

It has been eight days since ‘A haircut before the guillotine‘, which can be found at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/21/a-haircut-before-the-guillotine/. The article dealt like the one ABC gave us all about Greece and I think that it is nice that they finally came to the same conclusions, it only took them a week. Yet, the part that I never looked at (before now) s the part that ABC is giving. It is the setting that Italy is the most likely next country to add the fuel of life after the Euro. When we are treated to: “The warning signs are gathering: Government borrowing stands at 130 per cent of GDP, and bond yields have been rising, a sign of low confidence by financial markets which will make it more difficult for Rome to raise money by selling long-term sovereign debt“, yet unlike Greece and other players, they really do not have that much of faith in that muzzle called the EU and the ECB. The less popular and growing situation is offered with “it is also filled with ministers who are deeply distrustful of European institutions and regularly raise the possibility of pulling Italy out of the EU“, something Greece should have considered. In the setting where the Italians can float their currency during the seasons and get a much better return, lowering debt slightly faster is an option, one that is currently being discussed in Rome. What is also a setting is that Italy now has an example on when things go pear shaped, an advantage that Greece did not have. After that, ABC, of better stated Anne Bagamery gives us “many European analysts draw a straight line from the rise of Euroscepticism and nationalism generally — trends that led directly to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union next year — to the Greek bailout and other, similar rescue plans that followed the 2008 world financial crisis“. That is likely to be true, but the element that she ignores is that Mario Draghi was also a factor. What is more and more seen as a reckless, wrecking action by a second jumpstart to the economy, one that is still failing, but now the European members are well over 2.5 trillion Euro deeper in debt, so how is that playing out?

I am still of the mind that Mario Draghi and his membership into the elite 30 bank clubs enabled them to deals and advantages that are ethically an issue, perhaps even legally so. Yet there is no intervention, no investigation and in the end, the interest on 2.5 trillion dollars will have to go somewhere, does it not?

Then we get two sides, the first one is one I agree with. With: “Ms Merkel, at the time the most powerful head of government on the continent, pushed the notion that forcing the kind of budgetary discipline that had worked in Germany was the best way to bring spendthrift countries into line. A fervent European, Ms Merkel also felt austerity was the best way to preserve both the EU and the euro” we see a harsh reality, but when you look at Germany, their debt is way down (compared to what it was) and as such a few billion euros each year gets to be spend on infrastructure and not on interest payments, so that is a clear sign. In opposition we see: “Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic affairs, acknowledged in an interview last year with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that the handling of Greece’s bailout program was “a scandal in terms of democratic processes”“.

That might optionally be the case, but how far was the democratic path used to misrepresent the numbers, cooking the books and fraudulently give rise to economic levels that never existed? How many of those Greek cooks actually were prosecuted and ended in prison? Show me that list please Pierre Moscovici, can you?

Now we get to the BS of the part and it is seen in “Economists have now had plenty of time to evaluate whether the decision to impose austerity measures was the wisest course — and, for the most part, the verdict is negative”. Is that so? You see, I stated that in 2013 and several economists stated that I did not have an economy degree (which is true) and as such, I could never comprehend the ‘complexities’ of such macroeconomics. they optionally had a point, was it not that my version and my calculations using my fingers and an abacus gave a result that was merely a year away from their results and I published mine 5 years ago, so in all that, it seems that these economical ‘experts’ are seemingly more about the preservation of the gravy train that they are on and a lot less on finding the setting of resolution that they were supposed to have and now that Italy is on the iExit path (or was that ILeave?), we see that ‘the verdict is negative‘ part, I reckon merely 5 years late in light of the degrees they have.

Finally we need to stop at the setting we see regarding Portugal. With the quote “Joao Borges de Assuncao, a professor at the Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and a former economic adviser to the Portuguese government, said recently that Portugal’s recovery only really started when it ended austerity measures and invested in job creation to keep growth alive“. I cannot completely agree, even if that was a partial correct setting for Portugal. A setting when we consider that Portugal has a population of 11.2 million, about the size of Sweden, a mere 25% of Spain. In addition, Portugal got lucky with their cork. It supplies 50% of the global needs and that gives them a huge niche market and until China starts growing their cork forests in a serious way, Portugal will have an advantage there. In addition Portugal has a similar advantage with tungsten and lithium, with lithium battery needs at an all-time high, and unlikely to slow down for now, we see that 75% is in South America, meaning that Portugal cannot rely on their amounts, but it still makes for a nice additional sandwich with what they offer. All elements that they have and plenty of other European players do not, so Portugal has a small advantage, which is why I oppose the view of Joao Borges de Assuncao, not because the view is wrong, but in the current available options, with a much smaller population there is a benefit for Portugal and that is why the investments required would have been significantly lower, whilst the ROI would have been much easier to achieve. What works for Portugal is not likely to work in Spain and Italy to the degree it needs to, not whilst the Italian population is 600% of Portugal. The sales amount of Maserati’s and Ducati’s needed to offset that difference is slightly more than realistically possible.

I expected for the longest time that there was a much larger issue within Europe, no matter how ideological the setting was, the setting of a push for big business to get the exploitative advantage over small companies was too visible and now we see those same companies giving the UK such hassle. I wonder when the UK economy picks up and those players are learning that they are missing out on 68 million consumers, I wonder what marketing scheme they will try to get back into favour with those they tried to strongarm initially. We merely have to look at the Galileo satellite navigation system, and the setting that we see now to learn that the easiest option is to merely block the Galileo from accessing that part, which the UK would be allowed to do. When we see the setting of people using their car abroad (UK in EU vs EU in UK) we see that this stage will hurt the EU a lot more, and even as we see the need for a UK satnav system, the UK one will come, 68 million people implies 30 million cars in the very least and plenty of people are relying on the satnav, so the ones who have that in good order will have access to those consumers, in addition, as we might overlook the entire ‘due to be launched in 2020 with civilian and military variants, and requires 24 satellites in orbit to be operational‘, for the UK 2-3 is all that is required, so a national market whilst those satellites would also be able to provide media and other options, will benefit the UK greatly, that whilst most people are ‘kept’ in the dark regarding both “The Galileo system went live in December last year, providing initial services with a weak signal, having taken 17 years at more than triple the original budget“, as well as “The main causes of the malfunctions have been identified and measures have been put in place to reduce the possibility of further malfunctions of the satellites already in space” commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said.

ESA found after an investigation that its rubidium clocks had a faulty component that could cause a short circuit, according to European sources”, so even at 300% of the original costs, they still weren’t able to properly test the systems and the faulty components are an excellent piece of evidence. The fact that the EU has the larger setting of budget overrides on several grounds and when we consider the fact that when infrastructures and facilities take well over 300% of initially projected costs, we see a failing on too large a scale and no proper penalty setting is in place and is unlikely to ever get there. The UK has had its massive bungles too, but even in the national setting it would never have been to the degree that we see here. In addition, when we are treated to the setting of a project that some state costed 30 billion, for 30 satellites, the most simple of all calculations (admitting that they might be way off) is telling me that the pricing is incorrect from the very beginning. We can agree to a quote that is up in the air in several sources. When we see “It is estimated that a single satellite launch can range in cost from a low of about $50 million to a high of about $400 million“, I am willing to believe that, yet, when we see the application of 30 satellites, we see the need of a much larger scope of electronics, verification and channels, all this implies that such a setting should require multiple safeguards, and let’s not forget that all this was merely about the launch, so the hundreds of engineers, designers, programmers and testers are also part of those costs, the electronics that were designed, developed and build will take even more resources, so here I am in a setting where the lowest estimate is close to 1.3 billion each, and I am willing to accept that I lack plenty of knowledge, so even as I expected the cost to be closer to 15 billion, the fact that my estimate was 50% higher and still 100% short of the actual costs gives us the setting that the entire Galileo project was wrongly priced, wrongly designed and in the end still flawed.

Galileo satellite navigation system has a few more issues, flaws and weaknesses. That part was shown 12 years ago (at http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2006/07/cornell-sleuths-crack-secret-codes-europes-galileo-satellite) where we are treated to ““We were told that cracking the encryption of creative content, like music or a movie, is illegal, but the encryption used by a navigation signal is fair game,” said Psiaki. The upshot: The Europeans cannot copyright basic data about the physical world, even if the data are coming from a satellite that they built“, so 12 years ago basic ‘protection’ was negated by students, so in the end, this extremely expensive project, just how secure is it, and once we learn that even as it is really really hard to hack it, what happens, when we see the system being readjusted through a hack causing time clock issues? When that happens and inter satellite group messaging is no longer reliable or valid, how long until that system crashes itself from within? It might not seem to be hackable, but the satellites rely on an uplink and a downlink, once the element is there to cause clear miscommunication from the source towards the satellite, forcing a sequence of reboots might be enough to take alignment of these satellites away from one another, and in the end, the mess that this will cost? I wonder just how much the makers did not perceive from a system that had a negated security system for the better part of 12 years. I wonder what happens when they get the option to ask each satellite for a verification protocol from each of the other satellites. Do that for an hour and how many users will be confronted with the setting when they drive home and the SAT navigator tells them: “This location does not exist“.

When we get to that part, I wonder who in the EU will be suddenly on sick leave and cut all ties from a project that has already been projected as more than 300% more expensive. When we dig into that part what else will we find?

That is merely one of many settings that was shown in a whole host of EU applicable operations and in all that Italy has their options too, whether the decide to leave the EU cannot be predicted to any near decency, but in that, when we see that the Italians are equally barred from Galileo, we will see another part where the EU will have to pay back at least two nations for their part, how will that end?

I will let you decide that, just make sure you know how to drive home and do not rely on your satnav to the degree you expected it to be useful, on how far the Italian High Speed rail from Berlin to Palermo is when the ties are announced to be cut, because that too will impact the EU in a much larger part then expected. In that regard, how many people would have ever needed the train to get to Palermo anyway, is that not an interesting question? When we are confronted with “The cost of EU infrastructure development needs in order to match the demand for transport has been estimated at over €1.5 trillion for the period 2010-2030” and we realise that Palermo has 1.2 million people, so it is a sizeable city, but let’s be honest, spending 1.5 trillion to get there, what was Europe thinking?

When we take the accounts and the pulse of such investments, whilst the ROI will never ever be achieved (not even close), how much more wasteful spending is this EU throwing on people and their additional taxation?

Remember, you must repay what they have been spending and they have been spending a lot with the additional costs of all these gravy trains, so how much out of pocket will you and those around you be for the rest of your life?

 

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