Tag Archives: Emma Watson

Voices of entertainment

There is a lot going on, as per Friday the events in New Zealand are taking off, it is the buzz of the planet and they are all repeating or making more and more outlandish claims. I stated what needed to be said well over 24 hours ago and I stand by it for now (until actual evidence is brought forward). So I decided to browse the news and the media what they call newsworthy, two elements that are often not the same.

It stopped me in my tracks when I saw ‘Chelsea Clinton accosted by Muslim students at Christchurch terror attack vigil‘ with the one part: ““I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep down inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” the student added as she pointed her finger at the daughter of Hillary and Bill Clinton.” It is shown with the photo by-line “Chelsea Clinton told the students she was sorry they felt that way, which further inflamed the situation“. The problem here is that her words might be seen out of context, her parents might get all kinds of consideration, but Chelsea is not, remarks resulting in questions raising the flames.

It stopped me in my tracks not merely because I do not know Chelsea Clinton (or her parents for that matter), but the idea is that famous people (read: celebrities) have agenda’s. Most of them for the most of their time try to use the acquired fame to give light to the truly worthy and those most unheard of. We have seen all the great actors having some kind of charity involvement, yet there are plenty who are not in the highest regions (still high though) who take serious amounts of time giving light to worthy causes.

One of these lights is Tom Hiddleston. He acquired most fame as Loki, the trickster, opposing Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor, or what some would call an ancient version of Bob the Builder) in several movies. He did a lot more and ever as some might think he was one of those Eton College silver spoon people (born in Westminster might give that appearance), we should see a man raising awareness for many causes, including Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. By his support to The Sohana Research Fund (at https://www.cure-eb.org/) we see people like Jason Isaacs, Emma Watson and Damian Lewis also giving support to the cause.

We have seen for the longest of times as People like Matt Damon give rise to the need of clean water. Matt Damon with H2O Africa attended Davos 2019 a place where the truly rich convene to drum up support for additional millions to get more and more wells drilled in Africa. The work of his charity is doing so well that they have been able to reach a million more people each quarter with water and sanitation, clearly improving the quality of life there in very identifiable ways. Then there is Jennifer Lawrence who decided that a meal is a good way to start, so there is an option to share a slice of Pizza with her and the only action you required to do was to donate to a charity. Now, it might seem like small fry, but consider that the 50 people she had a slice with each would inspire 10-50 more, soon that movement goal becomes a very serious number towards success. Her cause was Voter Education through Represent.Us, a charity that brings together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections. It might seem small, but the power of the achievement is no joking matter and awareness is a first step. So whilst we see more and more actionable events by those in the entertainment media, we see that they are a lot more effective in bringing about change. Rachel McAdams, James VanBerBeek, Kevin Sorbo, Orlando Bloom, J.J. Abrams, Kerry Washington some of them supporting dozens of Charities, many of them doing so for years; so when you think that most of the celebrities rest on their laurels think again, some of these participants have agenda’s that are a lot more crowded than the average CEO of a fortune 500 company. In saying that one of the funniest events lately was done by Mark Ruffalo who (at https://comicbook.com/marvel/2019/03/05/avengers-endgame-premiere-mark-ruffalo-giveaway-omaze/) is shown to be running away with Thor’s hammer, giving it out as a charity price through an Omaze Contest for the Stella Adler Conservatory, the hammer (Mjolnir) signed by the Avengers cast as well as  the winner (+1) being the personal guest of Mark Ruffalo at the Avengers: Endgame premiere. So at times for millions a charity is just the means to get a prized possession and is that a bad thing? Even the marketing as Mark was great. It entices fans all over the world to be like a hammer and nail that price.

The voices of entertainment are a lot stronger than anyone realises and in all that we all see that there are plenty of good causes that could use illumination, I reckon that with the mindset of these fresh new titans to be (except Matt Damon, he has been around a while now) the future of the place we live in is in decent hands, when you realise this in opposition of the acts that happened in New Zealand, this is a great place, there are good people in any religion and as we get better in voicing the matters that should be important to all of us we can make this place better for everyone.

For me I recollect one of my truest idols. In my case it is Lord Baden Powell. It is not because he created the boy scouts, it is his quote “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it“. The requirement is simple, it is easy, it is realistic, and if we all did it this world would go from now to truly great within two generations. It is that simple approach that makes and improves a world. These stars are doing it, but in equal measure so do many people, most we have never seen, heard or noticed. Though community services, through emergency services and in other ways, these people all contribute to making the world a decent place. We should all consider joining up to a cause that we feel strong about and in the end, we do not need to do a lot, we merely have to try and leave this world a little better than when we found it.

Is that so hard a call to make?

 

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As we know it

The universe has changed, it changed some time ago, yet the powers that be, be it in business, administration (read: government) or retail where all for the most are in denial. They deceive themselves through stories. One uses Tableaux to use the data to present the picture, a picture often based on incomplete or overly weighted data. The next one relies on dashboards like SAP to use spreadsheets to bedazzle the people with slice and dice numbers, looking pretty as a pie chart, yet not giving us the goods, because nowadays, these companies hire people who can sell a story, not drill deep on the results. The story is whatever the paying customer is willing to hear. They are all adopting the political need that has been in play for many years: ‘If the data does not match, change the question‘. That is the first part in a sliding scale of representation, and those representing the stories are running out of options (read: point fingers) to turn to.

The first part is seen in ‘At the time of year when queues usually form for popcorn and the money pours in, box office revenues are plunging. Where are the blockbusters?‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/26/even-superheroes-may-not-save-hollywood-desperate-summer), here we see: “The true scale of the potential problem facing the industry can be seen in the precipitous drop in movie attendance this summer, down 52% year-on-year to 385 million at the time of writing. It is the lowest level of attendance since the summer of 1992“, in addition we get “Hollywood is stuck in a rut and it needs a safety net – superhero flicks fit that bill right now“. Two statements that might be the bill of the story, but in reality, the people are adhering to mismatched data and not properly investigated results as I see it. You see, the data is evident and it is out there, the games industry is taking 100 billion plus a year now and some of the other elements of gaming are taking a slice of that. In addition, providers like Netflix are now in much better control of their audiences that is mainly because they figured out what was wrong in the first place. You see, the gaming part is the first part of the evidence. People are now spending it on something else and they are no longer relying on the box office as Netflix gives then options. the second part is seen in the Business Insider (at http://www.businessinsider.com/us-cities-where-cost-of-living-is-rising-the-fastest-2017-6) where we see that on number 10 (New Orleans) the cost of living went up by 18%, on number one we see Nashville with a cost of living raise of nearly 30%, as we have not seen any actual economy increase from the United States, or better stated, the working people of the United States have seen almost no increase in wages and quality of life, those representing certain numbers decided to just ignore issues and evidence. Now, that top 10 list is a little skewed too, yet when we realise that for 3% of Americans their cost of living went up by 18% or more, how worried do we need to be with certain represented numbers? So consider that Los Angeles was part of that top 10, yet New York is not, there we get ‘Cost of living index in New York is 21.37% higher than in Los Angeles‘, which with close to 9 million is 2% of the US population, so now we see that the hardship and quality of life is hitting 5% of the American population and the numbers do still go up, so when we see “drop in movie attendance this summer” how can anyone be surprised? In addition, we should also realise that this gives rise to the fact that apart from people not going to the cinema, many are now spending it on something else and a $20 spend on 90 minutes is not considered when $55 gets them hours, sometimes hundreds of hours of gameplay. We are all getting more and more weary on the bang for our buck and the cinema can no longer deliver that value. No one denies that movies are just better on the big screen, but for many it is a trip only affordable a few times a year so the people are getting really picky on what they see on the big screen. Richard Cooper gives us part of the news, but also ‘forgets‘ to give the full picture. With “It is mid-budget films and their fans that have tended to suffer“, here he only gives us part of the story. As the Hollywood engine of greed and reselling remains on a steady course, we see the need for maximising results and as such the movie makers are closing the gap between cinema and digital release. Why spend on the cinema whilst within 26 weeks the movie will be out on Blu-ray? Basically it is the same price, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an excellent example in this case. People are becoming stingy because they have no other options. All the messages of a fake economy and how good it is might look nice on the news, but for the most, people in the US cannot afford any extras. Many in the USA need to work double jobs just to get by. The US census gives us that in 2015 13.5% of Americans were in poverty, I feel certain that this number has gone up in 2017, some sources give us that this has gone up to 14.5%, so one in seven is in poverty. Do you think that these people will be watching movies on the big screen? So the Hollywood moment of desperation is not to be resolved, not until the quality of life and cost of living for Americans is set to a much better status. Those who can might try to leech of the neighbour’s Netflix, those who cannot need to find affordable entertainment, if they get any at all.

In the second we see that this economy is also bolstering a new level of exploitation. Even as we all ignore certain elements, Uber has changed the game, with ‘Inside the gig economy: the ‘vulnerable human underbelly’ of UK’s labour market‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/aug/24/inside-gig-economy-vulnerable-human-underbelly-of-uk-labour-market) we see a new level where the people are sold a cheap story (read: Uber story) and as they are hiding behind what people should investigate, we see that desperation is exploited in other levels. It is not merely an American issue; it is becoming a global issue. With “Each passenger’s destination, however, will remain a mystery until they have been collected. And regardless of the considerable costs they might incur to fulfill that journey, the driver will have no say in the fare. Uber both sets the fare, then takes a hefty rate of commission from it“, we are shown that there is a dangerous precedent. As we see online needs explodes as people need cheaper solutions, Uber will weigh in on maximising its profit. As I see it: ‘the drivers having no other options to work to near death for scraps’. With “The driver knows that failure to accept these terms will result in an immediate loss of work: they will be blocked for a set period of time from accessing Uber’s online system that provides work” we see new levels of legalising slave labour. The ‘do it or else‘ approach is now strangling the freedom of people to death. We see evidence of my statements with “The companies themselves tend to talk about the freedom, independence, and flexibility with which self-employment is usually associated. But many of the couriers and drivers we have spoken with over the past year have had an alternative model of self-employment, and with it much financial insecurity, enforced upon them“, and the law is not offering any solution, not in the UK and not in the USA, being an entrepreneur tends to have long lasting benefits at times. They all voluntarily went into the contract and they can all walk away and starve. It is not an option for those with families to support and feed. Part of this crux is seen in “we have noted how companies are able to use the guise of self-employment to dump a whole series of obligations and liabilities onto their workforce, while depriving them of protections enjoyed by the rest of working Britain“, to be the entrepreneur comes with hidden dangers, especially when you work for other entrepreneurs. The age of exploitation is upon us and as we know it, we can no longer afford to go to the cinema, a side Mark Sweney seems to have ignored. Yes, he does give us the Netflix element and there was no way to avoid it. He does go in the wrong direction with “For film fans, theatres still have an allure for the launch of big movies, but in the new world, where all media is competing for eyeballs and time in the “leisure economy”, the Netflix threat is rising“, he is not incorrect, yet he is incomplete. He forgets that Netflix is all many can afford (and a fair amount cannot even afford that). So why go to the cinema for the next sequel? Box Office Mojo gives us part of the goods, in 2017 only 2 movies broke the 1 billion mark, Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson (I personally do not think she was a beast in that movie) and the Fate of the Furious, which makes sense as Vin Diesel is stark raving nuts on most given days (in the fast and furious series) and who doesn’t enjoy a chase movie whilst we know that the driver is Looney Tunes. A movie with a good grasp on the desired quality of life time! So if we accept that the bulk of the Americans had to choose two movies these would be it. Yet, that number is not correct. You see Vin Diesel is attracting an audience, but 81% is not domestic, in the case of Miss Watson it is a 60% non-domestic audience. If we focus on the American market the Beauty and the beast was best, but only good for half a billion, if we focus on the domestic market, it is merely the Force Awakens that brings the goods for Americans. It makes sense with the following it has, but it is also deeply sad that decent movies are no longer bringing in the bacon. We cannot merely be blaming Netflix on this, we can surmise that the people can no longer afford the large screens in America, it is the most likely scenario, when we consider that only 3 movies got the domestic top 100 of gross revenue in 2017 and 11 in 2016, we cannot disagree with the view we get offered, but in retrospect, there is enough evidence that the US job market was worse last year. So with still 3 upcoming box office smashes, the big screen performance remains down, to what extent is harder to state, because there is enough indications that there is a lack of quality numbers, which makes my predictions not wrong, merely speculations and I accept that, yet the makers of the article and the presenters of the story of ‘Even superheroes may not be able to save Hollywood’s desperate summer‘ know that they were blaming the DC and Marvel Universe for not saving an economy that does not presently exist. The economy only exists on the Dow Jones index and that one is skewed towards the 1% of Americans that can afford a large apartment in New York and other places. What a shame that reality requires the 99% of Americans they give no consideration to. Yet it could be worse and there is every chance of that happening. As we see Mario Draghi and Janet Yellen warn against regulatory cuts, as we see “European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said protectionist policies pose a “serious risk” for growth in the global economy“, we could deduce that Draghi is soon depending on exploitation tactics to grow the economy, not only has his Quantative Easing failed, he will soon depend on legalised slave labour to get the economy the boost no one wants in such a manner. So as Draghi states: “To foster a dynamic global economy we need to resist protectionist urges“, which will not just end the filling of any quality of life if it was up to certain Uber approaches, it is also signaling the end of places like Hollywood, because they only get to exist when people can afford to go to the cinema, an display of ‘ingoranus totalicus‘ shown by these same people as they bolster the story that ignores the needs and plight of those in the lover 60% of the total income bracket in most of the modern western world.

We will see in the next 18 months what remains of the values we considered in the past. Life as we know it will change, that has always been the consideration of an evolving natural life. We merely forgot that those in charge are not in favour of change unless they could directly profit by it. I wonder if the people in Hollywood realise that part of the equation.

 

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The Medic and the Medici

There are several issues exploding, yes, they are literally exploding in the faces of people all around us, especially in the UK. The first event is ‘Leaked Brexit email claims David Cameron has ‘starved’ NHS‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/01/senior-tories-brexit-vote-leave-attacks-david-cameron-letter-nhs-staff).

This article gives us the following quotes: “David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt must accept responsibility for this – they have starved the NHS of necessary funding for too long.” The claim is more than outlandish, it is for all intent and purposes a clear fabrication. So who is Cleo Watson? What evidence has she produced? These two elements are important. Apart from her short time with the Vote Leave campaign, she is an unknown. This letter is also a clear visible act where both Michael Gove and Boris Johnson need to question their support for this group. Michael Gove gave his reasons clearly and well written in the Independent. Boris Johnson has his business and governing mental experience regarding the link between the UK and the European Union. I am on the fence, yet to some extent I am leaning more and more heavily towards Brexit. Yet I want to do this on the facts that matter, people need to vote based on actual facts. Cleo Watson is just making a joke everyone needs to ignore. This we see when we take the following facts into account:

#1. 2011, NHS pulls the plug on its £11bn IT system, a system abandoned after 9 years of spending and no result.

#2. 2013, The NHS says it has lost millions of pounds in the last year because of the number of patients failing to turn up for appointments.

#3. 2015, The NHS saw the worst performance by A&E departments since records began in 2010, with only 91.4% of patients being seen within the four hour target time.

#4. 2016, Nurse staffing levels, missed vital signs observations and mortality in hospital wards: modelling the consequences and costs of variations in nurse staffing and skill mix.

Now, this is not about laying blame with the NHS, yet serious questions need to be asked. You see, only the arms industry has at times the luxury to blow away 11 billion and not feel the consequences. It’s pretty much the operation expenses of the Patriot Missile system in the US. Oh wait, the UK cannot afford that system, so it selected the Aster which gives more bang for the buck (50 missiles more bang for the buck). It had issues after that in both quality and availability. In addition, a study to be completed in 2017 is costing the NHS half a million.

There are other issues that play, they are all with the NHS; the issue is that these things just happen. Any machine has cogs that aren’t pulling their weight, they are there in case something else goes wrong, or they are in support, or even just idle because the system requires them to be. The response in the Guardian was also direct: “A senior source at the Department of Health hit back by claiming the government had provided an additional £10bn for the NHS and said that “every Conservative MP stood on a manifesto to deliver this package”. They added: “So we expect every Conservative MP to have absolutely nothing to do with this letter”“, which for the moment might sound very correct, but within all this a serious question remains. How could any project go this far out of bounds? In a time when the NHS is not smothered to death, but only a step away from drowning in costs and costings, we must demand a firm hold on expenses. Yet, this goes a lot deeper than just expenses, you see in all this, especially in regards to the squandered £11bn, questions must be asked of the political side, did they interfere, was there interference at all and how did that explode costs? That is an equally important question in this race for comprehension.

So as we see one part nullified from Vote Leave. We are not done, not by a longshot. You see, these matters are tried again and again. This becomes more outspoken when we see ‘Female doctors may be forced to quit over new contract, experts say‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/01/female-doctors-new-contract-medical-royal-colleges). Now, let’s be fair. There was always a small chance that this was the Guardian entering its own April fool’s day article of the year. Yet that part can be ignored when we read: “The MWF is worried that will force female doctors who are mothers to try and find childcare at those times. The new contract could breach junior doctors’ right to a family life under the Human Rights Act“. In addition there is “Dr Roshana Mehdian, one of the leaders of the junior doctors’ campaign against the contract, criticised the DH for saying that women should make “informal childcare arrangements” if they are affected by having to work more antisocial hours“. When we look against “This is ludicrous in the 21st century when childcare costs are spiralling and access to out-of-hours childcare is limited. This discriminates against women, single parents and working couples“, we must ask ourselves ‘Are these doctors on drugs and please can we get some of them?’

You see, there is no denying that the MD’s in this world work really ungodly hours. I do not think it is fair, yet the current system does not have that much margin to work with. In addition, a personal view is that any woman who now goes into medicine, who also wants to be a mother needs to realise that she can do one or the other, not both. Those in the medical and legal industry tend to work an easy 50-60 hours a week. Unless those women have chosen to marry a househusband, that option is gone! All this bickering and especially Dr Roshana Mehdian who not unjustly stated “This is ludicrous” is forgetting that in the old days the man worked, the woman stayed at home. Now, if we accept (and I do), that someone has to be with the kids (to some extent), in an age where a man and a woman can make the same fortune, she must also realise that if she is making the fortune, she needs to realise that Mr Mehdian might be expected to be at home to raise the kids. In a bad analogy I would rephrase this into, you can’t be a hooker and expect to be given the options of a virgin. One excludes the other. And in an age of spiralling childcare costs, the cost of living went up for all. This is not about fairness, this is about reality and realism. Because only labour seems to feed the public the idea that all can have a job, free education is a given and childcare is priced under the tax deduction act, those who believe will not have a life, not have a family and they will not have any money left.

The article calls for another two quotes that have relevance and importance. The first is “The DH analysis, published on Thursday, has intensified the long-running dispute between the profession and ministers over the contract. There is particular unease about its statement that “while there are features of the new contract that impact disproportionately on women, of which some we expect to be advantageous and others disadvantageous, we do not consider that this would amount to indirect discrimination as the impacts can be comfortably justified”“, the second is: “This contract is a huge step forward for achieving fairness for all trainee doctors”, a spokeswoman said. “For the first time, junior doctors will be paid and rewarded solely on the basis of their own hard work and achievement. That is ultimately what employers and the BMA they want and everyone deserves: a level playing field.

You see, these might seem like two sides of the same coin, but I reckon they are not and this is a lot more of an issue that some might realise. You see, the Guardian and the Independent are both on the same side when we see “the measures would discriminate against single women“, I disagree! From my point of view, being a single parent and in law or medicine is massively stupid and selfish. It is clearly given at the beginning of your career, already in University for some that the immense amount of hours made will equally mean that being a parent (in any other way than the old way is the real story that will not be a reality). I reckon that any person becoming a parent whilst working 50+ hours a week is a bad parent and should not be allowed to be a parent. You can’t have it all and for the most, most of the population knows this to be a truth. Is it possible down the track? That remains to be seen, there is a clarity that unless the economy does not drastically improve the family life for many will be a mere concept that will never become a reality to many couples. Nourishing any act in that direction is self-delusional.

Is it fair?

Of course it is not, but the current economy is not about fairness, in all fairness the previous administrations should not have pushed this government with a 14 hundred billion pound debt, but that happened and until now, no serious acts have been performed to rein in spending and to reign in debt, which is part of all this as well. The full contract can be found at http://www.nhsemployers.org/case-studies-and-resources/2016/03/junior-doctors-terms-and-conditions-of-service. I am not going to bore you with the contract as such, because some of the elements discussed require a person much more versed in contracts than I am. Yet, I feel that it is imperative to mention: “The work schedule for a doctor on a general practice training programme working in a general practice setting should reflect the 2012 COGPED guidance or any successor document on the session split during the average 40-hour week that comprise a minimum full-time contract. Any additional hours of work above 40 must be included in the doctor’s work schedule and linked through to the curriculum, as per those for doctors in hospital settings“, which we see on page 28. This part has a reference to “The doctor’s actual total ‘new contract’ pay at appointment to the first post and subsequently at appointment to each new post under these TCS will be calculated as per the provisions of Schedule 2 of these TCS” I cannot state whether this is fair or unfair. Yet there is one given, there is no mention of gender here. I have seen how Emma Watson gave her speech at the UN (I am completely in support of this), yet when we see equality, for me it means on all fronts. This also implies that you do not get to have a career and be a mother. You see, in that same view, nearly every man worked every day (and sometimes nights) and did not get to be a father, they merely became the provider of the family. We have to accept that, because the rent and the food must be paid for, in that same light women will have to face that too. So, they do not get to complain that as a single mother there are debilitations. So is this what the Department of Health claims to be, a ‘level playing field’, or is there another side? You see, Dr Roshana Mehdian did not convince me of her side with: ‘when childcare costs are spiralling and access to out-of-hours childcare is limited’, in that same light, it took two to tango, so why is the child not with the father? If there is true gender equality that question is fair and valid. Of course, reality tends to be not in equal measure and we would accept that, but in all this when we see the pressures in the medical profession, it makes sense that having an equal weight responsibility means that in the medical and legal profession, having a child will impact your value on that market, merely because your head was not in the game, for 15 hours it was with your own bundle of joy. That premise is valid, it will make massive sense for some to start a family, but in equal measure it means that it will either cost you a family or a career. We have come to the stage that both is no longer an option, especially as a single parent. From my personal viewpoint, raising a child is a career all in itself. Now answer the following question honestly: “How can you have two careers and do right by both?

An answer not easily given, because it is not an easy question!

What is a matter of concern is that the political parties (on both isles) have taken certain stances, both are debatable and both have had little options and the shortage that was strangled upon these parties is equally a problem. By trying to maintain a medical elite in the UK, the balance shifted. You see, when we consider the Social structure within the United Kingdom as it was, where the upper class included the barristers, judges, dentists and doctors, yet were also in the middle class. We see a shift after WW2, so those who were in the high field tried to keep themselves and their family in that higher echelon, therefor rejecting fiercely a foreign infusion of highly needed talented workforce. After WW2 this became a shift towards a services-dominated economy with additional mass immigration. The medical profession, due to unrealistic standards saw their workforce diminish over the last 10 years giving us the issues we see nowadays. Consider the following response “I wrote my exam on 12 Dec 2015 and got my result 24 Dec 2015. I promptly went online and started the application and 2 days later I got the Pearson Vue testing reference number and booked and paid $280 for the computer based Test of Competency. I could have sat this next week but I chose to sit it on 2 Feb to give myself more time to practise as I can’t afford to fail. So far the process has been really smooth and quick“, another voice was a lot less positive, but there could have been a clear issue of timing involved. Overall the issue remains that by making a transfer of knowledge so hard, especially as some applicants have degrees in Commonwealth nations, it seems to me that some players are trying to dampen the influx of foreign talent, which is just my personal view in all this.

This path could have been smoothened out by the politicians a long time ago, but it seems that schooling and re-schooling nurses does not sound as sexy as a new innovative IT system (which didn’t work anyway). Last I get to that list of 4. The first one is old news now, but 11 billion is a lot to lose and it has to come from somewhere. The second one is one that can be dealt with. If the patient misses two appointments, they can either pay a penalty fee for not cancelling in time. Cancelling an appointment is just a phone call away. If you forgot it, there is a fair assumption that there was not a pressing medical need (I know the ice of that statement is very thin). In all this we must realise that doctors work ungodly hours, so steering clear from giving them additional pressures seems to be a given first. A task at which, as I personally see it, Jeremy Hunt failed miserably at present. The third in my list is the one I would give A&E a pass for. My reasoning is that the skewed scale that A&E works with has not been properly adjusted for growth in patients and stagnating staff numbers. We get these numbers from http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn06964.pdf, where we can see in the introduction and the summary that the title ‘Accident and Emergency Statistics‘ is ever so slightly misleading. I wonder what Carl Baker had in mind with this paper and what purpose it serves. It seems to ‘focus’ on the +4 hour people way too much. The one summary number that does matter is ‘There were 4.0 million emergency admissions to hospital via A&E in 2014/15 – up 4.8% on the previous year’, which only paints a partial picture. You see, ‘Chart 2: Annual A&E attendance, England, 2004-2015‘ seems to tell the story, but other ways could have been more explicit to deal with the issue. Over a period of 10 years, the attendance of the minor injury units nearly doubled. Yes it doubled! The major injury unit also rose, but not by a large part, although, from just over 13 million to close to 15 million is still a growth that is not to be ignored. This report ‘writes it off’ as a mere 10%, which still amounts to 1.4 million additions. Yet in all this staffing levels are not addressed at all, leaving this ‘work’ with some uneasy questions. What I like the most is the disclaimer at the end. “This information is provided to Members of Parliament in support of their parliamentary duties. It is a general briefing only and should not be relied on as a substitute for specific advice. The House of Commons or the author(s) shall not be liable for any errors or omissions, or for any loss or damage of any kind arising from its use, and may remove, vary or amend any information at any time without prior notice

So how does staffing levels in answer to 4 hour waiting times not assist? From this I must question what the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP had in mind with this writing? From my point of view, a bad paper does not make the NHS look bad, it makes the Secretary of State for Health look bad not less good than he should look, especially as he should be fighting for the plight of the members of the Department of health, a side I have yet to see at present. He has been called a lot worse by many, it seems unproductive to go that way. What is matter of urgency is the fact that the Prime minister needs to ascertain if Mr Hunt is the right person in the right place and if not, he needs to get someone there that will take the side of the doctors and fast, because at present they do have the power to let it all collapse, and woe be onto the administration that is governing when that happens.

 

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Why do we bother?

This article is not for the faint of heart, or for those who ‘believe’ in equal rights. This piece is as misogynistic as it gets, for the simple reason that being nice, being considerate sounds like an idea, but in the end, it seems to me that

  1. No one cares
  2. The prosecuting side of the law at large seems to be ill equipped.

What brought this on?

It’s been going on for a little while. Usually in the form of these ‘innocuous’ advertisements through Facebook linked pages and other sourced forms of mass marketing.

You might have seen them, pictures of photo shopped women, ready and posing to be ‘coitussed’, with added statement like ‘Male Gamers Only‘ (EDGE, by UDM), an advertisement for a game called Wartune, with the ‘warning’ Adult content! It is all promoted by a site called ‘utterlypettable.com’ (one of several places), in this case regarding the 21 most deadly animals. So can anyone explain how a transgression on sexual discrimination is not being prosecuted? Because they are just ‘facilitators’?

It seems to me that those facilitating mass advertising have a lot to explain for. To just get through and to just get the revenue in, they will overlook many issues. Of course these pages are usually linked to advertisements like ‘Hurry before this video is banned‘ and ‘Rich people Do Everything To Ban This‘. I normally ignore them all, but in this light, I decided to take a gander on the idiotic side, which now links to ‘Free money’ sites with additional spamming scripts. The fact that pressing the button to close that window steals the act and forces you to submenus only give way to the dangers that these places present. You see, if they were all on the up and up, they would not resort to these tactics and closing the window would not be hijacked. A world limited to Hijacking and Misogyny. It all goes even further when we consider the damage Facebook is handing out (from https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/26915213/stop-being-selfish-outrage-over-anti-c-section-facebook-page/). This shows us A Facebook page criticising women who have given birth by caesarean section. How is this ‘freedom’ of speech? So as we see the reasoning for this need, which is “A Caesarean section is often performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby’s or mother’s life or health at risk“, we should ask how we can condone ‘freedom’ of speech, attacking people for diminishing a person’s health, in this case both mother and baby. Yes, there is a growing concern that more women ask for it and not always is there a health danger, but that is between the upcoming mother and her physician as I see it.  My question becomes, the ‘offender’ known as the Disciples of the New Dawn, how many of them are man and what percentage of this group is female?

At this point I must also illustrate that this is not a new issue. The guardian had an opinion piece in May 2013 (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/23/facebook-violently-sexist-pages-twitter-fbrape) called ‘Facebook’s violently sexist pages are an opportunity for feminists’, directly stated, not only do I disagree, these pages are a lot more dangerous than both genders realise. When we see eBay pages, selling T-Shirts stating ‘I’m feeling rapey we can honestly state that there are massive issues. The 2013 offensive T-shirt “Keep Calm and Rape A Lot” being the clearest of these transgressions. The article explained on how the automated phrase was in the hands of ‘Solid Gold Bomb’ and as they stated ‘these shirts were computer-generated and we didn’t even know we had a shirt that says that‘. The article does not touch on the part on how the phrases were collected, if we take the logic on the event that the act required someone to type it in, it would take thousands of people to type the phrase to get detected by these algorithms, which means that there is a larger problem hidden behind the issue which was not addressed by the press at large either.

This is partially seen in the UK where domestic Violence is at a massive high. At this point I want to mention an article I mentioned in the past (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/13/domestic-abuse-violence-victims-crime-survey-figures). Here we see ‘Domestic violence experienced by 30% of female population, survey shows‘, if this is anywhere near the truth, then tomorrow, when you get into the Underground and look at the women on route to their destination, then consider that over time it is likely that out of every 4 women you see, there is a small chance that one of them has not yet experienced abuse. Now ask yourself if you can live with that number, one out of four!

So when we see Jeri Ryan as the Female Borg, we can consider that being 7 of nine, that she could be one of 7 currently receiving domestic abuse. These are not nice statistics and the failing of the law is getting ever clearer and ever more unacceptable.

All this is propelled from the statement ‘Male Gamers Only‘, one of the most unacceptable calls for a game. I have played online many times, several friends on the multi-player Mass Effect 3 are women and they are quite good too! Games are a great channel, there we need to be part of the pack, part of the group and there the gender, age and religion has no bearing, only that you are part of the team, propelling victory for the entire group. The most unbiased of acts, to be together and just have a fun time. So when we see a T-Shirt stating “You provoked me” and “I was drunk“, we should worry on how this was regarded as ‘freedom of speech’. When we see the dreadful statistics of domestic violence, those ‘slogans’ have no place in this society and merely removing the page from eBay just does not cut it in my train of thought.

So when we see the quote “T-shirts that make a joke of rape are still available, of course, even on the biggest retailer of all, Amazon, but Laura Bates at Everyday Sexism has vowed to keep fighting to stop rape being regarded as a joke, rather than the violent crime it is“, we have to ask more than serious questions, we should ask whether a retailer like Amazon would be allowed to continue to cater to any Commonwealth nation. In my view, removing fields of revenue tends to be a great motivator to start being actually correct (in comparison to being ‘feigned politically correct’).

As stated, these events are not opportunities for feminists, they are just dangerous grounds for additional victims, which brings us to the second part of all this, the act of trivialisation. There are two kinds, there are at times trivialised moments when we have a vocal ‘spas’ with friends, we all say some things that are way outside the realm of politically correct. Men will giggle when we hear (as I did) the words of one woman saying to the other ‘No knickers? Laundry day or lunch with Mr Big?‘ (At Paddy’s market, Sydney). The mention is essential because it is a simple dialogue between two women I passed whilst looking for a polo shirt. Is objectification wrong when female friends do it among themselves? Was there objectification, or was ‘Mr Big’ about to get himself objectified over ‘lunch plus’. I feel unable to answer as there are too many unknown variables. Yet, linked to something I do know is the article ‘If you want to write about feminism online, be ready to take on the haters‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2015/apr/01/if-you-want-write-abaout-feminism-online-be-ready-to-eal-with-the-haters). You see, in my view, the photo is part of the issue. Three women wearing ‘no more page three‘ texts. I for one was never against page three (being a guy and all), but moreover, I always felt that those women used the Murdoch system to hopefully get ahead. Was that wrong? I do not know, but it was their choice to make, just like it is the right of these women to oppose page three. I mentioned the issue before. You see, when we see Keeley Hazell, who became known for working with charities, which include those working for animal rights and breast cancer awareness, we should wonder how bad the act was. There are not too many examples like these, so over 4 decades we can wonder on the numbers of good versus evil, but in my view, it is not about feminism, it is about the causes that matter. I am not convinced that page three led to domestic violence, but all this effort on a page in a paper that has been faltering versus the national issue that plays in more than one Commonwealth nation makes me wonder whether energy and effort are pushed into the right direction. There I have my questions and I am not convinced. The article does mention my feelings in a way when it raises the paragraph ‘There are more important issues to worry about’, which is exactly the issue I have. It is also for that reason that I am such a fan of the effort Emma Watson who is bringing us ‘HeForShe‘. I disagree with The Age (at http://www.theage.com.au/comment/emma-watson-speech-hardly-a-gamechanger-20140925-10lhz9.html), where Clementine Ford (a woman) is stating that it is hardly a game-changer. I disagree, As Hermione Granger she spoke to the imagination and reverence of an entire generation, a generation that now entered the real of young adult. A generation that consists of both man and women. She had an opportunity and she is forging a change from within this generation. That is not ‘hardly a game-changer’, this is huge and as far as I can tell, almost unique in our history, which makes it even bigger. There is a part I feel uneasy about. The quote “Gender inequality comes as a direct result of the enforcement of patriarchal structures. Although men are impacted negatively by it, they are not impacted in the same ways or to the same drastically violent extent as women“, is not wrong, but as I see it, it is incorrect. You see, a lot has changed, many changes that started in the last two decades are now coming to fruition. So as I see some women ‘whine’ about inequality (not judging right or wrong), I see that it is not wrongly seen, but wrongly shown in dimension. At University, now as I complete my Masters in Law, I see that the gender gap is no longer equal, I see that the man are now a minority, moreover, the people becoming partners and the higher echelons of law are slowly being replaced by women, who have completed the journey from legal aid to where they are now. This was not a simple task, these women excelled in law for a long time and now, those women get the positions. This is not a patriarch side, this is an evolving side. Now as the changes come over the next decade, women are more likely to be in charge in many fields, not because they are women, but because over time they had proven themselves to be equals. The second part of the article I disagree with is “Men have always been welcome to ‘participate in the conversation’, most notably when that participation involves action, change and acknowledgement of their own privilege and power“. That was (as I see it) never the case. I remember at VNU (Dutch publication house) that there was a guy who offered several pieces on promoting IT and IT skills for women. He literally got laughed out by those working at the Cosmopolitan editorial. So do not come to me with ‘welcome to participate’, because that was not the case. I am not making a judgment whether the act then was valid or not. Change took a long time and we are not there yet, but the wheel has turned and the acts of Emma Watson and women like her will be essential in propelling it all forward. So as we allow the issues of some advertisements, some T-shirts and on trivialised domestic violence, I wonder what fights still need to be fought.

So in the end, why do we bother?

Because within ourselves we acknowledge that moving forward requires equilibrium and equality, they are one and the same in our mental position and championing this position will end to be good for all. This is exactly why I am all for women in gaming. Not because they are women, but because I want a better game and it has been proven again and again that originality is found when new views are added to the table, in an age of mediocre sequels, originality is the essential ingredient. I look at it from the world of gaming, because I know this world the best, in IT it does not matter what gender the person is as long as there is skill and innovation. The result there is never seen in gender, if you doubt that, then list the names of all who worked on either Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel or Adobe Photoshop. There is the simplest shape of evidence. Here we do not care, who did it, as long as it works, the ultimate equaliser of gender.

 

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Are they the real losers?

Yes, it is a nice new day and to be quite honest, I feel ashamed that fellow gamers and fellow men on the internet are starting to show that many are the type of person, real man are disgusted to know.

Let’s have a look at the facts lately. First we get the 101 naked celebrities, which, fair enough could have been done by any over enthusiastic (read: horny) teenager. That does not make it OK or any way acceptable. Then we get the persecution of Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn for the most ridiculous of reasons and now, because an actress speaks out for all women, you know, through that usage of ‘freedom of expression‘, she now gets haunted by hackers, posting her stolen images (because she was wearing not that much) to scare her and to ridicule her and finally there was Caroline Criado-Perez who had a really nice idea and got threatened because of voicing the idea.

You see, I am very willing to do something about it, but I am not that good a hacker. I can remove them with a sniper rifle pretty efficiently, but that gets me into hot water (the Crimes Act of NSW 1900 gets a bit iffy at this point) the police seems unable to do anything about the victims, but the hackers will apparently have all the rights to protection and privacy. I am willing to test these rights.

So, here I throw down the gauntlet! Because, I am sick of these cowards feeling safe and secure. I challenge these groups of so called ‘greater than life‘ hackers to prove their greatness and find those hackers who did this to Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Emma Watson and Caroline Criado-Perez. I think the people (and me) have a right to know, so I challenge the hackers to find them, post the evidence as well as their identity and address on all places, as well as 4chan. If the press is so into ‘the people have a right to know‘ then let’s find out who they are. It would also be nice to know who hacked the celebrity mobiles and add those names and identities too.

Let us find out whether there are real men amongst those hackers, who would like to get recognised as the man who gave us the names of these hiding cowards. If these people claim a right to ‘privacy’, let us recall a tweet that was send to Caroline Criado-Perez. The tweet ended with “NO MEANS YES“, let us test that theory!

You see, I reckon that once they are out in the open, the game changes. Their neighbours will point at them. Those guys in school who were always smitten with Hermione Granger will want to prove to their hero actress that they will stand up for her. These fathers living nearby who have seen their darling daughter cry because she got bullied, will feel the rage of violence boil their blood when they spot them. I wonder how secure their confidence is during the day when they all know who they are.

Did you, the threatener and abuser consider that?

When we look at the piece in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2014/sep/23/hackers-tried-silence-emma-watson-naked-photos-but-made-her-voice-louder), we see an article that is decent, but substandard. It gives us a psychology part and some referencing, which is how I saw it. Of course the daily star front cover was there. There was a part I did really like. The quote was “Emma Watson did not talk to the UN about the need for equality because all forms of gender discrimination have been eradicated from our world. She spoke about it because every day, in every country, women face violence, abuse or just plain old ignorance”, yet this was countered by the quote that follows “Much as we’ll cheer for the underdog in a sports match, in real life we don’t want them to defend themselves”, which I found offensive. Of course the debate then becomes whether that statement has any truth. You see, if we truly believed that, we would be outspoken about it. The reality is that those acting out against it are cowards, like those old white men in white outfits with burning crosses (KKK reference). These people hold their believe in the dark corners, where no one can see who they truly are, which is why I want these ‘hackers’ out in the open. I am truly curious what we will find and whether we see some crying father on how his son was misled and it was all one big misunderstanding.

The second article http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/sep/23/feminists-rally-emma-watson-4chan-nude-photo-threats is also decent, but I had a huge issue with the title ‘Feminists rally round Emma Watson after 4chan nude pictures threats‘. I personally believe that the title ‘All real man and real women go to bat for UN spokesperson under siege‘. That would be the title that wakes up nations! Let’s be clear, this is not because she looks nice, is pretty or an actress. I felt the same way when we saw the utter injustice that befell Caroline Criado-Perez.

The question is how to deal with these people, because they are tearing at the foundation of our freedom, not just the woman, the men are in equal danger. If you doubt this, then ask the father of Emma, the parents of Caroline. Do you have a daughter? It could even be a son, what happens when your child speaks out against injustice? Then what do we do? Let them be victims to some coward, who does not believe in their freedom of speech, their freedom of expression or their support to a person they ‘hate’.

I believe that they fear the light and accountability, so let’s give them some bright light to bake under. Even though the intelligence community has a few other priorities, can you guys (NSA, GCHQ, DSD, DGSE and FAPSI) make it into a competition (perhaps for your interns)? The first correct publication is worth 4 gold stars, second place gets 2 gold stars and third gets one star and the rest will have to fend for the next round. Like a hacker Olympics for signal intelligence.

Seems like a harmless enough sport and let’s face it, the hacker wants a challenge, he/she is baiting you to find them! Are you, the upcoming SIGINT officers of the future up to the challenge?

But I very much liked the quote in the end: ““All I can say Emma, is: fuck them,” wrote Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett“, she took the words right out of my mouth!

UPDATE:

At 21:00 the games changed a little. It seems that the threats against Emma Watson were a viral marketing ploy. (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-24/emma-watson-threats-actually-stunt-to-shut-down-4chan/5766882). In my mind there is no change, the others were victims of harassment and psychic assault. Yet, these issues have other issues too. You see, the origin of 4chan was nice, clean and pure. It was altered by some to be used in other ways. It was the brainwave of the then 15 year old Christopher Poole who was into Japanese comics and anime. there is a lot more to 4chan. I found a reference to ‘A 21-year-old man was arrested after 4chan had provided the police with the IP address of the poster.’, so 4chan is more then just trollers and hackers. Which makes the actions of the company Rantic more then just a little dubious. Yet all is not clear there either as the ABC has one excellent quote “The #shutdown4chan hashtag gained some momentum on Twitter, but some users raised concerns that it aimed to eclipse conversation about Watson’s gender equality speech“, which beckons the thought, what exactly is going on and perhaps 4chan is not the nuisance, but the saviour for the message that prevails with #heforshe and whether they could do something extra to spread the message Emma Watson had for all people visiting the internet.

So was my article right or wrong? In the end, the issue I had remains and remains clearly. The press acted directly and corrected as soon as they had the information, the question becomes what about the other victims?

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Values of insanity

I need to revisit my last article ‘Evolving our lives’, not the article itself, I thought it was a decent article and I stand by what I write. It is the massive absence of visibility that I see in the press that is so overwhelming, that it makes me wonder what on earth is going on.

You see, the fact that someone hacked the phone of Jennifer Lawrence is ‘great’ news. It had several pages of links of all shapes and sizes. I feel for Jennifer, I am happy that she is taking a stand and I hope her lawyer gets to take the hacker and his family to the cleaners for the next 5 generations.

The statement from her attorney Lawrence Shire is quite clear “This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible” (source: Perez Hilton at http://perezhilton.com/cocoperez/2014-09-02-kate-upton-leaked-nude-photos-addresses-statement).

My issue is not with Jenifer, as I stated I do feel for her. It is the LA Times (and many other US newspapers) that I am having an issue with. The LA Times who published only 10 hours ago: “After illegally obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other actresses were made public Sunday, the FBI is on the case — and so is Lena Dunham“.

It is interesting that the FBI is all about the famous, yet, as it is portrayed Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and a few others, who seem to be the object of extreme hatred and this visibility, remains mostly absent.

Now, I do not agree with some of the views Anita Sarkeesian had, especially in her video ‘Women as Background Decoration (Part 2)’, she is entitled to this view. She does bring in several cases a correct view, but again the fact that the view of the Darkness 2 is pretty much how the comic depiction is was not stated. Also is not stated that the prostitutes in Assassins Creed 2 and Assassins Creed 2 brotherhood were a weapon for Ezio Auditore to kill from hiding and to remain unseen. There is more than just a game here and courtesans were a reality in that era in Italy.

Consider the following historical fact “The Venetian authorities became concerned that it was impossible to distinguish between courtesans and respectable women. Rules drawn up in 1543 determined what the courtesans could wear” and “There was a red light district in Venice but there were also courtesans who were less obvious. They were educated prostitutes who were refined and well dressed and serviced the social elite“. This is how reality was. There is no real defence from me, for the most Anita Sarkeesian gives a truthful view, even though that view is not giving the whole picture. The same she does with watchdogs, where not just women, but also men are the target, yet her reasoning does hold water. In addition, the issues as shown in Far Cry 3 are not unknown (at http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21586575-laws-punish-domestic-violence-are-too-often-honoured-breach-everyday-aggression) the economist and many others show that there is an abundance of violence against women. This does not make it okay, but it is a reality we are all still fighting against. The economist states “it is a slow process“, I personally think is “a much too slow process“. There have been several views by many people that things have to change and I personally believe that Anita Sarkeesian should be allowed to voice these issues in safety and whilst not getting harassed.

My issues only partially against that view is that Bethesda (Fallout, Fallout New Vegas, Oblivion, Skyrim) and Lionhead studios (Fable series) and Electronic Arts (Mass Effect series) offer the option of creating a main female character, that part she left out. In addition, Female Shepard from the Mass Effect series is just as deadly as the male one. Yet, I admit these seem to be exceptions.

As Anita and Zoe are real people, why is their safety not more strongly advocated? Anita Sarkeesian’s dangers made the Washington post, yet it seems that these people (both Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn) seem to have escaped the view of the bulk of all American Newspapers. An Indie game developer stood up for her, his name is Phil Fish. When I looked for more info, I found this description on some Wiki page “Phil Fish (Powerword: Jacques Paul Philippe Poisson) is a shitty video game designer who received immense praise following his creation of a Super Paper Mario rip-off called “Fez”. A filthy hipster, Fish is widely reviled on the internet mostly because he’s a douche and a drama whore. He’s also French Canadian, which goes a long way towards explaining why he’s such a stuck-up narcissistic twat“. The hatred spilt all over several sites is unbelievable, now, perhaps the man has an ego issue, I do not know, because I do not know the man, yet his quote in support for Zoe Quinn drove a level of hatred that is beyond belief.

Let’s get back to the issues involving women.

There is an anti-women group in gaming wave going on that seems to be utterly unparalleled and is far beyond any normal dimensions. I have no idea how repugnant something called ‘the Daily Caller‘ is. Yet consider the issue. A model named Kate Upton, her phone was hacked and we see this “So What Does Rep. Fred Upton Think About Kate Upton’s Hacked Nude Photos?“, which intros as: “Michigan U.S. Congressman Fred Upton is staying personally silent on the weekend hacking and posting of nude pictures belonging to his niece, model and actress Kate Upton“, so the man is her uncle and he is asked to give his view on his naked niece? How sick is this reporter? This was not some photo-shoot in Playboy and Penthouse, no this was the violation of her privacy and many are making ‘light reporting’ of it all. This is a side that Anita Sarkeesian seemed to have missed in her article, it is not just the gaming image but the press is to some extent glorifying this! Is it such a wild assumption that this is bringing a new low level of cyber-paparazzi? I wonder how much money lawyer Lawrence Shire could get and how much publications will bring in revenue on this matter. This is not about objectifying women, this all reads as a chauvinist tactic ‘to keep women in their place‘, which, if true is a crime as heinous as the acts Pol Pot’s killing of well over a million people. Does anyone remember the Killing Fields or did you all forget that massacre?

The victims are given this response “After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions“, so if there is a targeted attack, where did it come from? We get back to the basic need of a secure internet. The system has been built on such levels of ‘convenience’ for speed, that the entire issue of security seems to have been ignored to some degree (a targeted attack that becomes a successful transgression is one that requires investigation). You see, if we accept that any system can be transgressed upon, that it stands to reason that a clear market for the wealthier client is required. Consider the news that the US president was not allowed to have an iPhone and we read “explaining why he is sometimes seen with a bulky super secure Blackberry“, why are the personal assistants of both Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton not looking into that field? Yet, are these not new values of insanity?

Why should any woman need these additional levels of protection from criminals like these? It all goes back to the issue of non-accountability. People can do whatever they like and no one will be there to stop them. If we see the years of publications and the years of recorded issues on Domestic violence, we see an utterly flaccid legal system with too little actual results. The internet is just a new iteration of inaction.

Yes, the FBI is looking into this, yet how long until these women see results? How long until Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian can go home in relative safety for using their right to free speech? How long until the international press will take these issues and goes for real coverage of the issue, and not in some feigned opposition view as we saw in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/01/how-to-attack-a-woman-who-works-in-video-games) with text like “So, for those out there who have decided to join in and harass a woman developer or critic out of the games business, this is how you do it“.

Did the Guardian print the following in their papers: “If you want to take a good honest look at the breasts of Jennifer Lawrence and perhaps more, this is how you hack the phone“? Oddly, that is not what was printed, so why these two values? Yes, I know that the piece of Zoe Quinn was in sarcasm against the harasser, but I think it missed the point, especially as there is an abundance of non-journalistic sources burning her, whilst only the Guardian gave her any (but debatable) visibility. Is this the realistic view of Anita Sarkeesian view that women are objectified, yet now in a very real way?

Moving forward

I hope that Lawrence Shire might be willing to place a few calls and get a group of real journalists into the plight of both Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, possible with Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton standing next to them. You see, I think that this is all linked to a much bigger problem, if the threat to both Quinn and Sarkeesian is unreal, then people have a right to know, but if the threat is real then ignoring the threat is no less criminal then what the hackers are trying to publish. All this whilst the media is just printing the names that will improve their circulation, so in their view, the lives of Quinn and Sarkeesian have no value and are ignored.

I will accept that a Hollywood star is news, however, within the last 15 minutes as I was writing this last night speculations regarding Jennifer Lawrence grew by 12 pages, not one fact on either Quinn or Sarkeesian by any reputable source was added. This is not life in the fast lane, this is ‘garbage in the junk lane‘ and too many who should be vocal, remain silent.

The responses

Emma Watson’s response on Twitter is perhaps the clearest “Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy“. Yet, I am personally not certain whether she is correct; when the by-line from the Independent ends with ‘Poor Jay Law!‘ which was read by another woman in a tone of ‘ah well’ we can safely state that the matter is a whole lot worse. The tweet from Ricky Gervais, although badly received is deeper than some realise “Celebrities, make it harder for people to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer“, which might read as “When you are famous, you have no inherent rights of ANY kind, which means that either you pose naked for the press at large or someone will get those shots for them“.

Which gives us the unjust consideration “Breasts and genitals are coin, coin is essential, you are only temporary!” Whether Ricky Gervais was actively trying to state this, or “The only safe nude of you is no nude of you!” is up to Ricky Gervais, but I hope that my way of stating this all shows that the dangers women at large face (famous and non-famous alike) seems to be escalating. The view that “Domestic or partner violence is a global concern. Worldwide 30% of partnered women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime” is not a figment of anyone’s imagination, yet the fact that women overwhelmingly do not report these issues and only a fraction of the reported issues are successfully prosecuted remains a fact. This all links to all the issues we saw earlier.

There is an implied inherent air of ignoring, not prosecuting and persecuting these offences, yet overall these issues are more and more visible. I do personally disagree with my previous statement, yet consider the amount of registered domestic violence occurrences and how many of them were successfully prosecuted? Here I do not blame the police; it seems to me that at times their hands are tied even more than those of the victim. Consider the quote from the less likely reporting instance (the Daily Mail). “Domestic abuse prosecutions more than doubled from 35,000 in 2005 to 74,000 in 2010, and the conviction rate increased from 46 per cent to 72 per cent“, yet as we have seen from several sources like the CPS we see: “Nearly 1 million women experience at least one incident of domestic abuse each year (2009/10 British Crime Survey data: http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs10/hosb1210.pdf as reported in latest cross-government VAWG strategy http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/call-end-violence-women-girls/vawg-paper?view=Binary)“, so in 2010 we still see that less than 10% makes it to court, for whatever reason, so that 72% is not a victory it is nothing less than a joke on a massive failure in my view.

That what follows!

For some reason the NSA has an abundance of data, yet women remain in fear of life, we see that consultants and federal agents are looking into the mailbox and pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, yet no progress has been made. You see, something does not add up, when you target 101 celebrities, it means that you are trying to invade 101 secured accounts, now, it might be possible to get ‘easy’ access to some of them, but 101 targets gives the FBI a place to hunt, this is another question that boggles me and I do have a postgraduate degree in this area. Yes, I know that there is plenty of technology around, but in all these issues, traffic needs to occur and specific points were accessed. How did Perez Hilton get her pictures so fast? Was his ‘apology’ sincere? Was he used or was he the go between so that the global press knows that they are truly out there and for sale?

I do not have the answers, yet, here we see again a press driven value of insanity and let us be honest, at present there is no end in sight and too many women are currently in the firing line, not a firing line of Misogyny, but one of Inaestimabilis (non-English for worthlessness), which is a much more dangerous notion, because hatred can be fought, yet if a population at large deem a group to be without value, then we as humanity will have truly become a failure.

Should you consider me wrong (which is forever a valid consideration) then answer the following questions for yourself:

  1. In the US the following numbers were published by the Huffington post: “Number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq: 6,614: Number of women, in the same period, killed as the result of domestic violence in the US: 11,766“, now make a 1% list, so make a list naming 66 dead soldiers and naming 117 women killed through domestic violence. How long did it take to make either list?
  2. The following two facts come from Steve Stewart, Prosecuting Attorney, Clark County, Indiana. Namely “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (“Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report,” Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)” and “There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990)” Now, these numbers are a little old, but even then a dog was more than twice as likely to receive safety and treatment than an abused woman.

Where to go next? Well, that is as ever a good question and I am honestly not certain. In my view, placing these issues in the light and coverage by all papers it needs to have is an absolute first. I also think that the US Congress needs to think this through to a larger extent, they should consider that as UK and Australian law is a little better in protecting privacy they should consider the consequence of these women, packing up for a large part of the year and move to Sydney Australia (or London). These places have the same exotic shopping places and they are more likely to enjoy privacy away from the US, how would congress react when the Hollywood top feels safer outside the US and ends up spending their millions outside of the US? I wonder if Governor Jerry Brown truly considered the dangers that the lacking and hacking safety of women will bring him (and the state of California).

 

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