Tag Archives: Andrew Scipione

Out of the two issues

There are two things bugging me. One is technology based and I will get to that one next (read: article). You see, it is not the most important one and it fades against the game that is now on rotation. The first one starts on a good note, which tends to be a little awkward as it involved George Brandis, the Attorney General. The headline ‘George Brandis warns against assuming all attacks are terrorism after Munich shooting‘. I actually agree here. There was an extremely graphical video that I discussed (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/05/01/homerun-by-ukip/), on May 1st 2016, yet the video is all about implying targets. Here we have the crux, what makes the implied target a real target? Well that is for the boffins in the intelligence world to resolve. Yet when he states “He was obsessed with mass killings, owned a book on US school shootings and played computer shooting games. Most of his victims were fellow teenagers, five of them under 16“, I am placing a few question marks at his quotes. Just as Pauline Hanson is eager to blame religion, Brandis mentions that the German gunman played computer shooting games, which in light of the statements made by Andrew Scipione recently is slightly too enthusiastically and way too easily spoken.

Last there is “One of the phenomena that we have seen develop more recently is the development of lone actors who self-radicalise, often very quickly, most commonly online,” he said. “Very frequently these are young men with psychological disturbances, they don’t fit into the conventional or traditional understanding of a terrorism network”, which is true and fair enough. There are plenty of other sources that make similar claims, which does not make them false or wrong. It beckons the thought on how a kid of 18 got the gun. You see, Germany has a much stricter handle on guns, as can be seen in the article ‘Germany and gun laws: a chequered history‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/23/germany-guns-chequered-history-munich-shootings), the quote “three school massacres were instrumental in forcing through political reforms which are widely seen as making the country’s gun controls amongst the most stringent in the world“, even as many German’s have legally owned firearms. Germany is 4th on the world list of guns legally owned per capita. So, on one hand stealing one would be relatively easier (statistically speaking) in Germany, although that premise is an empty one without clear evidence on how the gun was obtained. So where did he get his gun from?

Now, this is not me stating that ISIS was involved, I am merely asking whether ISIS would eagerly use a tool like Ali Sonboly for instigating terror. Now consider the ‘news’ where we see the statement “Gunman Ali Sonboly used Facebook account to lure victim with offer of free food“, he apparently (according to the telegraph) used a fake Facebook account with the name ‘Selina Akim’ (other sources stated a hacked account), if that is true, than we have another iteration of issues. Not the fact whether or not he was a real mental health case, because this does not necessarily diminish that part. So when we consider the quote by George Brandis “when a search of the man’s home did not find any Islamist-related material, or any other political, religious or ideological material“, which we can consider in partial error. The ‘planning’ and creating a fake identity on Facebook (or hacking an account), trying to lure people of the same age group to McDonalds gives way to planning and to the act of contemplating. Contemplating because he viewed an approach with continued attention (aka tactical planning) and he observed or study thoughtfully (the use of a fake pretty girl profile). Now this does not make him any less of a mental case. Yet there is question on whether he himself came up with this or whether he was cautiously ‘coached’ by an outside source.

There is at present no way to tell, because even if no external evidence exist, until the origin of the firearm can be found, we all (me inclusive) will have a decent amount of speculations. So, I am not stating that George Brandis is wrong or incorrect. I am merely asking the questions that most have left untouched. The quote in the Telegraph (I know, not the best source to use) is “Police said the killings were not terrorist-related. They added that Sonboly was armed with an unlicensed Glock 9mm pistol and had 300 rounds of ammunition in his backpack“, the issue is regarding both the unlicensed Glock, where we do not wonder whether a Glock requires a license to exist, but the fact that the serial number could be traced back so quickly to an ‘unlicensed’ owner. In addition, the part of ‘300 rounds of ammunition’, so were these three boxes of 100? Six boxes of fifty? All issues, including the fact that ammunition outside of Canada and America tends to be a whole lot higher in price (I speak from experience here). In addition, German laws are stringent in this matter, so he would have needed to acquire/steal it somehow. There are more question marks rising now. These question marks are all linked to those proclaiming to have the facts, which makes it dangerous. In that regard, I am asking question, yet, am I asking the right questions? I feel that I am, because the actual answers might shine a more clear light on what allowed the events in Munich to happen. It still will not invalidate the views of George Brandis, yet questions need to be asked. When we know the following:

  • At almost 18:00 a shooting starts. Initially they think that there are three shooter (as there were three events), at the mall 300 rounds of ammo were found in a backpack.
  • At 20:30 gunman Ali Sonboly was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. (the Guardian stated that he was found 21:30 local time, as well as the statement that a post-mortem examination would be needed to see if he died from officers’ gunfire).

Now we get statements as him being into violent video games, on how this is planned, with references to books. The Independent gives us “One book found was a German translation of Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, written by Peter Langman, an American psychologist. Mr De Maiziere said that Sonboly had researched a 2009 school shooting in Germany, as well as Breivik’s Utoya massacre“. I find it odd on how he went for such a specific book. Now we add another fact from the Guardian. ““It’s a little disturbing,” said Peter Langman, who was unaware that the Munich shooter had a copy of his book until the Guardian called him at his home in Pennsylvania on Saturday. “I don’t know quite what to make of it. I don’t know why he had it,” he said“, I share the concern of Peter Langman here. So less than a day after the event, the press seems to have all the facts, all the ‘goods’ of gossip, whilst a clear investigation takes longer. In addition, if there was a terrorist concern (which there was in the initial hours), the Press would not have gotten hold of anything ‘juicy’ and we would have seen at least one day of speculation.

The entire Munich event is calling for a lot more questions, question that have few answers. Now consider that the boy, obsessed with the extremist Anders Behring Breivik, on the day of the anniversary and he leaves his backpack with ammo behind? Now, we can argue on it and I am even willing to admit that under pressures our minds can go a little wonky, but with the essential need of ammunition leaving it behind seems a little too weird. In addition, we see the German website ‘the local (at http://www.thelocal.de/20160723/munich-attacker-was-shy-video-game-fan) state 16 hours after the event “Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae did acknowledge that Sonboly had extensively researched the theme of rampages and may have read about the lethal killing spree by white supremacist Anders Behring Breivik, saying there was an ‘obvious link’ between Breivik’s crimes and Friday’s shooting“. So, when this ‘conclusion’ is made after a mere 16 hours in public, how many hours were taken to investigate this? Was this one computer source? Several sources? Was Ali actually doing that research on his (or someone’s) computer?

When we consider the statements and the time line, I end up with a fair bunch of questions, questions that lead to even more question marks and no clear answers. So are we now being played or is this the German need to suss this quiet real fast? Let’s not forget that it could have been the solo act of Ali Sonboly, yet German security services do have an issue with escalations that involve refugees. It was only 4 days earlier that a 17 year old refugee started to play ‘me and my knife and axe‘ on a train in Wurzburg, also in Bavaria. So the police has every need to not see violence escalate, but at present what we are told and shown, I am not sure if the local population will accept the given as gospel truth. You see, the fact that both events are stated to not having any links to Islam extremism is not an issue, the fact becomes what pushed these two kids over the edge. There might not be a given answer to the first case as a knife and axe are readily available in nearly every hardware shop. A 9mm pistol with 300 rounds of ammunition is another issue entirely. As there are no links or clear indications where the gun came from and how he got his fingers on one. We become the people raising question marks whilst those who should be with answers are unable to provide any acceptable ones. This gives more and more weight to this issue being one with consequences.

It will take days before the dust settles and we have some chance of actually seeing the facts, yet the reality should sink in to many of my readers. There are iterations of cycled news, to some degree based on questionable data. Yet in this case it is less about the people and the fiction we see from the press, in this the press seems to be handed a less than sincere handshake from certain officials. Those officials have to push for agenda’s that make their live manageable, which is only partially fair enough.

The question we end with is: ‘Yet, was it good enough?’

I am not sure who has the answers, mainly because several of the released facts are too questionable.

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The Silvery Goon

To give a little form to this exercise I will alas need to mangle the lyrics that gave additional visibility to Doris Day, a song going back to 1910 when it was initially released.

 

By the light of the Silver Grey Goon

I shall thee groom, to be the sultriest slut I hump

Honey-pot keep your legs far apart

Your silly sight, not very bright, we’ll be laughing loud soon

That game is not really real.

 

So here is the start, direct and as I might add, intentionally offensive!

All this got started by he who did not get elected, it is NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione that takes a front seat today. Not the events in France or Turkey. You see, here on our home front we have an old enemy that is rearing its ugly head and the people who seem to casually start to take the front row as the facilitators here are part of a much larger problem.

First in all this, there is the small issue that it was repetitive. You see, something similar was addressed on August 6th 2012 (at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/violent-video-games-incite-kids-to-crime-says-scipione/story-fn7y9brv-1226443402160). So as the headline read at that point ‘Violent video games incite kids to crime, says Scipione‘, we see a repetition from the people who should be doing the actual work, not the speculation on matters they do not even seem to comprehend.

Now, there are several studies that go back for at least a decade stating that ‘playing violent video games can lead to an increase in aggression‘. There is an issue with that part, you see, I think that a person who has an aggressive nature will choose a more aggressive game. Meaning that the aggression was already in that person, not given to the person by the game. In addition, this was happening in a time where professionals did not have a proper handle on issues like OCD or ADHD. This is important as this group of people is a lot larger than many are willing to admit to. When looking at American numbers we get the goods from the CDC and they tell us: “Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011“, I think that this group has been ignored for far too long and they took refuge (or shelter) within a mindset of video games. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5, the APA got creamed when NIMH withdrew support for DSM-5 in May 2013. NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), gives us the quote “Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure“, so this operation is looking into clinical evidence and even as they admit that there is a link between violent games and aggression, they state “Finds insufficient research to link violent video game play to criminal violence” (at http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/violent-video-games.aspx). So as we see the repetition by a Police Commissioner to rehash an old story, the fact that he is unaware on matters published 3 years after his initial ‘speech’ and the fact that these findings are a year old, in that light his speech does not seem that great or that qualified in a conference on violence in the media in Sydney.

This is however not all. The issue goes on, because he had more inaccuracies to state. We also see “When you see video games that reward behaviour, where somebody’s murdered, where somebody is abducted and raped and they get credits for that – what sort of messages are we sending our children“. You see, that part is another issue entirely. For this we need to take a look at 2014, where we see in ‘the Conversation‘ (at http://theconversation.com/virtual-rape-in-grand-theft-auto-5-learning-the-limits-of-the-game-30520) the following part: “After the release of GTA5 last September, there were discussions about whether players should be able to rape within the game. Wisely, Rockstar Games, the game’s developers, did not take this suggestion on board” in addition we see “But hackers did. They created a mod that allows a user to enter another player’s game, often as a naked or near-naked man, lock onto another player and then thrust persistently back and forth. All players can equally fall victim, regardless of character or player gender. And there is no way to prevent or stop an attack“.

So not only is the Commissioner misleading readers and listeners, but he is spinning another tale. As I see it, the game was never released that way, so the game was altered. We could go as far as to state that they are illegal versions of the game? In my view as I see it the question becomes why has Andrew Scipione not arrested those hackers and if they are not from his jurisdiction, why is he even talking about it? Is there not enough media circus issues in Sydney? In addition, there was a clear reason for 18+ games. When we see the quote “Given that children and young people are large consumers of this sort of content“, can we now be clear that children are not supposed to have those games and if they do, perhaps it is a clear parenting problem and those parents should be ‘losing’ their children? If the ‘child’ is over 18 that ‘child’ would be an adult and it is again a non-issue.

He sounds an awful lot like that confused and hypocritical person in South Australia. Michael Atkinson is his name, I believe. I regard him as hypocritical as he was awfully eager to leave the house he lost control of regarding Labor Premier Jay Weatherill. If Michael Atkinson was so about child safety, he should have intervened a lot sooner. So as we see the ABC quote “While he acknowledged there were fundamental issues within Families SA, he said a “whole community” approach was needed to protect children in the future“, we can draw a straight line to parent responsibility and proper games. So here is the third strike from Andrew Scipione. As I personally see it, this entire exercise is another step on the road to mere censoring.

So is this like Michael Atkinson another religious ‘enthusiast’ to spread the option of censoring?

Let’s be clear, both man can be as Baptist and as Anglican as they want to be. I have nothing against religion (being a Catholic and a partial Anglican). Yet it cannot influence the job that needs doing as long as no laws are being broken. The fact that we are introduced to a ‘presentation’ of inaccuracies is a large problem!

So as we realise that there is a clear 18+ category and as was said in 2012: “Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says the new category will inform consumers, parents and retailers which games are not suitable for minors“, we wonder what the speech was all about.

You see, Andrew was not alone. So now we get Elizabeth Handsley, professor of law at Flinders University and the president of the Australian Council on Children and the Media. Now we see quotes that actually have a little value: “the number of people who become desensitised or oversensitive to other people’s aggression is going to be greater, and that will have that broader, society-wide effect that we won’t necessarily be able to identify“, she has a partial valid point. You see partial as it is her part that is also a problem. The part that both are skating away from. An act that is as I see it likely to be intentional is the accountability of the media in general. The ethical uncaring nature of the media that will trample basic rights of privacy to get the knickers of Kim Kardashian on any media at a moment’s notice, a media that after getting scared to death by the dangers the Leveson report brought, did fake gestures of sincerity and they were up to their old tricks before the ink on the Leveson report had dried. That side is not dealt with by either of them, because the fact that the Press gets away with murder (well almost) and that accountancy firms are suddenly not responsible for large corporations overstating value and losing billions in value. In all this the people linked do not end up in jail. I reckon that this side of reality is a lot more damning on those kids and their optional shift towards non-legal actions than a video game is. The fact that these sides of the media are not set forward is equally damning on Scipione as it is on Professor Handsley.

In addition there is what the conference called a certain ‘Distinguished Professor Craig Anderson‘, when we see the topic ‘Media violence science, video game industry lies, and responsible public policy‘ we need to also take heed of a part not shown here. The case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 564 U.S. 08–1448 (2011), a case that was struck down by the Supreme Court. A massive part in this is that the First amendment was seen as overstepped by stopping these video games. I am not completely in agreement here. You see, I am all for 18+ games. As an adult I want to play them, I want to play them completely and unfiltered by some half-baked censor. Yet, I am on the front lines to agree that Grand Theft Auto is not for children. We can argue how old a child should be, but the rating was clear, you need to be 18 to play it. I do not object. By the way, when was the last time you read the stories of Grimm? How docile are those stories?

I also support then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who stated in 2007 “a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions“, which is what age ratings are all about and any parent giving their child a mature game is a bad parent and should be held to account. Getting back to this ‘distinguished’ professor. When we see issues on methodology, the fact that the APA gives view that there is no evidence that violent games link to criminal acts (or more precise there was insufficient research), gives weight to the debatable part whether this conference is anything else than a tax write off for travelling academics remains. When we consider the opinion from the supreme court in the earlier case mentioned (at https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf), where we see the mention of ‘admitted flaws in methodology‘ and the fact that I got all this in one hour, I get to wonder what on earth Andrew Scipione was thinking when he made his speech and I wonder in equal measure what Professor Handsley was thinking in her part. You see, the quote “potential harms of violent video games were often oversimplified” is not the issue. Proper investigation has been lacking, because (as I personally see it), political hatch jobs that cause the problem for whatever crusade they think that they are on. As Michael Atkinson blocked whatever he could under what I consider to be a false premise is the actual danger. In all the research I saw ZERO indication that properly investigated the opposite side. Not the violent games create aggression, but that people with aggressive tendencies go towards violent games. In case of OCD/ADHD people, there is a life of frustration and there is a chance that they are releasing steam by playing games. In this age, where the bulk of parents are getting less and less connected to their children, often because of the cost of living, long hours and exhaustion are also influences that create pressures and mental health dangers in every family affected here.

If there is one side in that conference I would have attended, then it is the part by Dr Wayne Warburton, where we see ‘Media violence and domestic violence: Subtle and not so subtle links’, you see there is one side that is open to debate on a near global level. You see, in June 2014, I stumbled upon an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/08/police-fear-rise-domestic-violence-world-cup). Here we see “domestic abuse rates has revealed that in one force area in England and Wales, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won“, as well as “In Lancashire – where during the 2010 tournament domestic abuse rose by 25%“, so when they are talking about Media violence, will they raise the issue of soccer and domestic abuse? If not, how reliable was this conference? It seems to me that there is an awful lot of aggravated censoring of video games when there is enough evidence that the people involved have no comprehension of video games, or the people playing them, as well as their background and medical history of those involved.

Isn’t it weird how the same issue is raised again and again, especially against video games, which is still not proven,  whilst the evidence of domestic violence, which is a proven link to criminal behaviour in kids is interestingly negated, perhaps an actual fight for the safety of children is beyond them? Why bark up the wrong tree again and again? Was it not Einstein who stated: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results“, I reckon that I have shown that to be the case of more than one speaker.

So have a good night and remember to look up when you are trying to catch them all in Pokémon GO, especially when you aimlessly walk into the Pacific River!

 

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