Tag Archives: FAANG

The face carrying the egg

Yup, I woke up giddy (a good meal will do that) and I have been thinking about new IP when the BBC made me giggle with ‘One of Europe’s biggest brothels goes bust’, now this is bound to happen, yet the situation reminded me of an old slogan: ‘Due to a death, the cemetery will be closed for 3 days’. Now I have nothing against the ladies of the night and the business people counting on the mattresses being used day and night, yes they will have a larger issues with a pandemic lockdown. It is nice to see “Some 120 prostitutes usually work at Pascha. It employs around 60 staff including cooks and hairdressers. Mr Lobscheid criticised the German authorities’ handling of the pandemic – particularly their ability to be clear when the business would be allowed to resume. He said officials would tell them every two weeks that they would not be able to reopen”, I am not judging mind you, but the effects of a lockdown implies that you cannot work, not even on your back and when your clients are in lockdown, so will you be. That is the low down on the issue and to see “We can’t plan like that. We might have been able to avert bankruptcy with the help of the banks if we had been promised that things could start again at the beginning of next year”, OK, that is fair, when a brothel is run like any business, that includes paying tax, it is fair to say that it should be allowed governmental protection, and lets face it, if the governments protects its politicians, why not its hookers, there are plenty of situations when most people cannot distinguish one from the other, as such the humour is increasing. Yet the other side is also in discussion, we see this with “Mr Lobscheid criticised the German authorities’ handling of the pandemic – particularly their ability to be clear when the business would be allowed to resume”, I wonder if Mr Lobscheid has all his ducks in a row, you see this pandemic is unique, we haven’t faced anything like this in 100 years and the last time we did it there was a little picnic called World War 1 which had just ended, as such nations were largely in disarray. We have been lucky so far and if governments had taken a longer look at their infrastructure the mess might (i emphasise might) we smaller, but optionally not by a lot. So in all this, as businesses are in lockdown, are in a stage where larger businesses cannot run, we see a brothel, but we also see Airlines, hotels and a whole range of companies losing out of revenue, so in part a business that is properly set up and is paying tax, should be entitled to some form of protection, yet the statement ‘their ability to be clear when the business would be allowed to resume’ is a bit of a stretch. It is almost like the hooker who goes to the doctor because of a symptom and the doctor tells her to stay out of bed for three weeks. yes, it is unfair that businesses like airlines and the one mile high club needs to stop functioning, but I wonder if people have any clue what the impact of a pandemic is. The Spanish flu set the need for 20 million to 50 million tombstones, at present that need is a little below 874,000, so we are only at 5% of the previous caper, now we can toss and turn, or we can adjust. I am in favour of the second, but that too comes with a risk. You see as long as we lockdown the disease remains a risk and the steps make sense, because the more time we have, the more time will be set towards finding a vaccine, and optionally a cure. We are given all these options, but the short, sweet truth is ‘There is no cure or treatment to prevent COVID-19’, as such until there is a treatment, lockdown is what there is and that is it. In this, I accept that the BBC gave us the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54016791) that there is more to life then awaiting death and the setting of Pascha is what it is (as a priest once told others), but the setting that we see with ‘criticised the German authorities’, is to be honest a little insane with the larger stage of unknown variables and minimum distance of 2 meters. I know that some call it a long john, but it’s not that long, not by a long shot. Yet I am still pondering “We might have been able to avert bankruptcy with the help of the banks if we had been promised that things could start again at the beginning of next year”, I know that over religious types go into a banter, but at least it is a business that pays taxation, and if rumours are correct a lot more than a speculated member of FAANG does, so there! 

So when we consider the face carrying the egg, we can point at Lobscheid, or we can look at ‘‘The venues are packed’: Labor Day parties cause concern for another COVID-19 spike’ (at https://www.11alive.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/labor-day-weekend-covid-19-worries/85-e320d391-da34-49e7-b8c0-1ebb35061367), with the added quote “Georgia health experts are concerned Labor Day weekend could usher in a new wave of COVID-19 infections just as the state’s cases have started to slow down. Despite the warning, large parties are scheduled over the next few days in metro-Atlanta, as state and local officials are doing little to stop it”, so whilst we see one person in denial of clarity, we see a whole group of people in denial of the actual situation. For the unemployed it is good news, as 874,000 move towards 2,000,000, we see that jobs become available, houses become cheaper and it will be all over the US, the EU and a few other places as well. For governments there is another upside, as people get jobs, the cost of governing goes down and as such it starts the end of a recession, positive news all around.

I do agree that the lack of clarity breaths confusion and aggravation, but there is no real solution; until the people realise and clearly realise that the last pandemic took well over 20 million lives, only then will they realise that there is a larger setting and they are taking risks with their lives, the clever people will not. The situation is that at present, new cases are set around 290K a day and that has been the case since July 24th, so well over a month, and since July 17th the number of non living increases by 5,000 a day. These two numbers are not a given, and things will get better, but do you think it gets better when hundreds are together in a bar celebrating labour day? It gets to be a lot worse when we see ‘CDC’s autumn vaccine hint fuels fears of pressure from Trump’ (source: the Guardian), there we see “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had instructed states to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to healthcare workers and vulnerable populations – just in time for the 3 November election”, but at present there is no reliable news that there is an actual vaccine, several sources give us that there is one coming, but when we look at the Sydney Morning Herald (at https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-is-the-new-covid-vaccine-designed-to-work-20200819-p55n33.html) we see “That letter of intent is contingent on the vaccine working – and, scientists have emphasised, we don’t yet know if it will” and that is not all, that was on August 19th, so far we do not see a daily update that there is an actual confirmed vaccine and when we consider “among the more than 165 COVID-19 vaccines under development around the world”, so everyone is racing to fill their pockets with a working vaccine, but so far none is in existence. I do accept the setting “ChAdOx1, the vaccine Australia’s government has signed up to buy, is one of the leaders”, and I know it will take time to confirm, but in all, the stage we are about to see is one that is a dangerous one and too many people have decided not to sit still and ponder the impact of ignoring what is in front of them, time will tell, but the setting is a lot more dangerous than before, the Guardian gives us that with “critics of the Trump administration have worried that the White House would pressure the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the CDC and other agencies to rush a hasty coronavirus vaccine to market before the election” and that is merely the larger stage, the idea that a place like the CDC could be pressured implies that the lives of the people that they are supposed to protect are not protected at all. This is seen with “a key agency in the process, the FDA, which would have to grant emergency use approval for any vaccine candidate to be distributed before the full completion of trials, has shown itself vulnerable to political pressure”, and it is ‘distributed before the full completion of trials’, is the part that should hit you. If that happened, people could be confronted with a vaccine that is optionally worse than Covid-19. I need to be careful, because I will not speak out against vaccines, but we need to realise that proper testing is needed and that requires time. And in this time is the one element that the people are not willing to give, and those on that train will be wearing egg, and a lot of it.

Time will tell us what was the proper course of action, time will tell us what the effects are of lockdown, because that can only be seen afterwards. I am merely nervous that in the end a lot more people will die of the Coronavirus than was needed, merely because governments were too lazy (or too late) to act. And it is not all their fault, that is seen in the Australian Financial Review with ‘Masks are pointless, says Sweden’s maverick chief medic’ (at https://www.afr.com/world/europe/masks-are-pointless-says-sweden-s-maverick-chief-medic-20200730-p55gre). Here we see “With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport”, and we are surprised that people follow this, he is an MD, he should know and all whilst we see hundreds of medics all over the world give us all kinds of images, but a lot give us something like the image seen here. So when we see that and we see the statement by Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. So when was ‘better be safe than sorry’ not a golden rule in an age of Pandemics? 

We still have ways to go, but in all this, I predict that a lot more people will be the careers of egg on face than we think there are and when we learn that lesson it will already be too late.

 

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EU fart bit, Google Fit Bit

Yes, we leap left, we leap right and as we see options for choice, we also see options for neglect. In Reuters we see “Google’s parent company Alphabet agreed a $2.1bn (£1.6bn) takeover of the wearable tech firm last year. However, the deal has yet to be completed”, we see that at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53647570, and as we see the BBC article, we wonder about a lot more. Yes we acknowledge “While the European Commission has said its main concern is the “data advantage” Google will gain to serve increasingly personalised ads via its search page”, and in the matter of investigations we see:

  • The effects of the merger on Europe’s nascent digital healthcare sector
  • Whether Google would have the means and ability to make it more difficult for rival wearables to work with its Android operating system.

From there there are two paths, for me personally the first one is Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, to be honest, I do not trust her. I will admit right off the bat that this is personal, but her deal relying on what was requires her to get a win, any win. The setting is founded on “officials acknowledge that the EU’s competition enforcer faces hard choices after judges moved to quash her order for the US tech company to pay back €14.3bn in taxes to Ireland”, which was a juridical choice, but in all this she needs a win and I reckon she will do whatever er she can to get any of the FAANG group. For the most I would be on her side in the tax case, but on the other side the entire sweep of the Google Fitbit leaves me with questions.

The first point is on ‘effects of the merger’, so how is this in regards to the Apple Smart Watch, the Huawei smart watch (android), and a few other versions, how much investigation did Apple get? How much concern is there for Huawei? Then we see the second part ‘Whether Google would have the means and ability’, it is not a wrong position for Margrethe Vestager to take, but as he does it upfront, in light of the EU inactions regarding IBM and Microsoft, it seems weird that this happens upfront now (well to me it does). And as we see ‘difficult for rival wearables to work with its Android operating system’ I see Huawei and the solutions they have, Android solutions no less, so why is Google the problem? 

Then there are two other parts. The first one is “Analysts suggested part of the attraction for Google was the fact that Fitbit had formed partnerships with several insurers in addition to a government health programme in Singapore”, the second one is “Google has explicitly denied its motivation is to control more data”, in all this there is less investigation in regards to what data goes to Singapore, or better stated the article makes no mention towards it, and as I see it, there is no mention on it from the office of Margrethe Vestager either. The second part is how Google explicitly denies its part, yet that denial does not give us anything towards the speculated “its motivation is to have access to more data”, and when you decide on a smart watch, data will end up somewhere and the statements are precise (something that worries me), I have no issue with Google having access, but the larger issue is not Google, it is ‘partnerships with several insurers’, the idea of privacy is not seen remarked upon by Margrethe Vestager and her posse of goose feather and ink-jar wielders, the focus is Google and is seemingly absent from investigations into Fitbit pre-Google in an age where the GDPR is set to be gospel, so who are the insurers and where are they based? Issues we are unlikely to get answers on. Yet when we consider “John Hancock, the U.S. division of Canadian insurance giant Manulife, requires customers to use activity trackers for life insurance policies in their Vitality program if they want to get discounts on their premiums and other perks”, so what happens when that data can be accessed? Is the larger stage not merely ‘What we consent to’, but a stage where the insurer has a lessened risk, but we see that our insurance is not becoming cheaper, there is the second stage that those not taking that path get insurance surcharge. So what has the EU done about that? We can accept that this is not on the plate of Margrethe Vestager, but it is on someones plate and only now, when Google steps in do we see action? 

So whilst the old farts at the EU are taking a gander at what they can get, I wonder what happens to all the other parts they are not looking at. Should Google acquire my IP, with access to 440,000,000 retailers and well over 1,500,000,000 consumers, will they cry murder? Will they shout unfair? Perhaps thinking out of the box was an essential first requirement and Fitbit is merely a stage to a much larger pool that 5G gives, but as they listened to the US, they can’t tell, not until 2022, at that point it is too late for the EU, I reckon that they get to catch on in 2021 when they realise that they are losing ground to all the others, all whilst they could have been ahead of the game, lets say a Hail Mary to those too smitten by ego. 

 

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When the game changes

That is the question, this is not about gaming, but Microsoft is about to get a black eye. This one is not one I saw coming for a few reasons, but the stage is set in very different ways at present.

It all starts with European Court of Justice and their Schrems II case (C-311/18), in this case we see that the Privacy shield, as US Department of Commerce concoction to appease Europe and the European Commission has fallen, like Humpty Dumpty the setting got pushed by the judges, and it cannot be superglued, it is dead. The term is ‘invalid under European Law’, So all the American contractors and subtractors of personal data in Europe (mainly Microsoft, Google, Facebook and AWS) now have a much larger issue to content with, it is the stage that President Tump cannot use, it will be another mail in his election coffin. The source Aigine also gives us “It is close to impossible that the rules of GDPR will be enforced, as US-Companies have given capabilities to US Intelligence authorities (example the No Such Agency)” The implied seizing of transfer of data to US-controlled companies will be a much harsher reality than ever seen before. Basically it works for me, but there is a larger station where data pools will have a national setting. If players like Google want to stay ahead, they will need data and hardware specialists in a much larger region of the world, happy me! And this will follow in other nations as well, the GDPR will have larger considerations in the Commonwealth as well, and as I see it the US has set the stage to open a can of worms I always saw coming, yet I believed that the EU gravy train and US Wall Street people would be more aligned, in the end it now seems that they were not and the data field will change in a much more refined way than I thought was possible. As a data cleaner my options open up, yet Google will set a new parameter of systems as they already have, however they will have a much broader need and as this war continues, we will see these players overreact to make sure that their data is lacking gaps, again, happy me.

So as we see that there is an assessment on what an how things are transferred, we will se. Much larger shift internationally. There is still a lacking state. The text “if possible, personal data should be stored within the EU, and on servers controlled by EU companies” whereas we see questions on ‘if possible’, I see options and opportunities, and the stage for legal interpretations will open up on the larger stage as older (90’s) solutions are revisited on the method of storing personal data. As such there is a new data war coming, and in this there is an open field who will grow, pretty much all European data vendors can, because there is a whole shipment of US companies who cannot rely on the FAANG group, and that is where the commercial opportunities are staged. To be honest, Microsoft has an actual opportunity now that it did not have in the past. Even as Aigine gives no consideration in this, but the Azure systems have a greater ability to decentralise, it is something that they had in place for other options, but Google did not (not to that degree is more correct), and that is the stage that pushes Sunday into the IT gathering of the week. I reckon that the news will be about the PDPR and the impact that US systems will face over the next week, but this impact is too large, I reckon that there will be a larger impact on a larger scale, yet I will agree that my view lacks the clarity of certain players and what they put in the field over the last 3-4 years. No matter how we see the EC Judgment, there were enough voices around to see a downplaying of the verdict, a verdict that is now a much larger stage than in the last 5 years.

 

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Presidents are us

Yup, the fight for the White House is intensifying. The BBC gives us ‘Biden challenges Trump with ‘Buy American’ economic plan’. Well that is a step we saw coming, in a stage where any corona virus hit nations will rely not merely on the export of goods, but on the locally required spending consumer base. With the FAANG group in its own world, the US democrats have decided on ‘Buy American’. It makes sense, although the claimed $700bn plan is likely to cost close to twice that amount and will only truly be a win if US export does not collapse whilst the US population will rely on US goods instead of importing. If those two parts are met then Joe Biden does have an optional working plan. The current president says that this plan will fail, but in light of all his claims, does anyone care what he thinks? So whilst the BBC gives us “Many voters are concerned by the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. His divisive approach to the country’s recent wave of anti-racism protests has also come under sharp scrutiny” and they are correct, even as there are a few more issues surrounding Trump, there is a larger concern on his presidency and as the foundation of the Republican group are in a stage where they are doubting his presidency can show any positive impact for the Republicans, the idea that a Democratic win for them at present is better than the current White House occupant is also a larger concern as the elections draws near. Even as we see “Analysts have urged caution in over-interpreting the polls, but Mr Biden’s lead is far greater than that of Mr Trump’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton at the same point in the campaign” the analysts do have to some degree a point, the American population has NEVER EVER been this polarised before and as some see it, there is a much larger white power population, Al Jazeera showed ‘An Al Jazeera investigation identified some 120 pages belonging to bands with openly white supremacist and racist views’, which adds up to another issue that Mark Zuckerberg and his book of faces has been unable to deal with. And these pages tend to flow towards Trump, not Biden. (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/exclusive-facebook-extensively-spread-neo-nazi-music-200710075507831.html) and that is merely the tip of the iceberg that is optionally the reason that the US Titanic will be sinking in unknown waters. The articles also gives us the PDF and “The 89-page report by civil rights experts heavily criticised Facebook, saying it needs to do more about anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish and other hate speech.” In this the article is important when we get to Chapter 6 (Algorithmic Bias), there we seealgorithms used to screen resumes to identify qualified candidates may only perpetuate existing gender or racial disparities if the data used to train the model on what a qualified candidate looks like is based on who chose to apply in the past and who the employer hired; in the case of Amazon the algorithm “learned” that references to being a woman (e.g., attending an all-female college, or membership in a women’s club) was a reason to downgrade the candidate.” Yet the same model could optionally be used to misinform (or disinform) the person through links that have ‘altered headlines’ One party could use it to flame to larger base of the other party and no matter what claims Facebook makes, the PDF report shows that they are seemingly clueless on how to stop it. You see, even if Facebook decides to block politics, it does not stop one account from posting an image, and even as the image might not be political, it can still impact the political base with the misinformation it spreads and Facebook would be largely unable to stop it until it was too late and as it optionally stops one side, the other side can make it worse, so here we see the application of Shareholder, Stakeholder and Sponsors, the S3 equation of big business. 

So even as the news was that the FAANG group saw $58 billion wiped after Trump slammed the ‘immense power’ of big tech (Business Insider), we seem to forget that that same group saw their stocks rise in excess of of $637 billion, so they still made decently well over half a trillion dollars. When you consider that, who do you think that the FAANG group wants as the next president? In all this the entire China matter remains an issue as the US goes towards the polling booths, yet in the end, there is absolutely no guarantee that President Trump is a one term president, yes there is the wishful thinking group, but the issues seen in the economy and the soaring profits that the FAANG group is making is a much larger concern, especially as their voices are a lot more powerful than anyone realises. In all this, the final touch is that so far I have shown again and again that the media is massively sensitive to the needs of the S3 group they dance for, in all this, do you expect to get any neutral news? Consider this week the insincerity of Fox News with ‘Fox News apologises for cropping Trump out of Epstein and Maxwell photo’ and whilst the Guardian reports on this, not many did, and when we realise the byline “Network says it mistakenly eliminated Donald Trump from photo with Maxwell and Epstein at Mar-a-Lago in February 2000” take a moment to consider the choice of words ‘mistakenly eliminated’, which is bias, it is (in my personal view) a form of censoring, which is interesting as it is the media that are all in arms on ‘censoring’ which was shown by Lord Justice Leveson through a novel that exceeds War and Peace (an apt analogy), even as the media reflected on it like it was the horror story fo the century, we see that the media has no issues to ‘mistakenly eliminate’, optionally hoping that no one will notice and there is every chance that a lot of people remained unaware. So in light of all this, there is no way to predict the winner. Even as we hope that Joe Biden will be supported to a much larger degree and that it will be a fair fight, I am not so sure about either premise in this equation.

 

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Speak through deafening silence

We all tend to be in a motion to listen to the right person, sometimes we know that person and sometimes we do not. In this age and as we see tidal movements towards black lives matter (I personally believe that nearly all life matters), we look at the cacophony of chaos and we are trying to make sense of what is real, what is sincere and what is different. So, whilst I modernised the idea towards the idea of renewed IP in video gaming, I started to look in different directions, I do that at times. I do it because it tends to remove tunnel vision from creativity. As such I get a new lease on balance, it is part of my own process. And in light that the new IP would be best suited for Ubisoft as they already have parts in their archives, my mind ended up not being very happy. The idea that their process is the better choice does not bode too well. So as I was looking at the change, I overlooked something different as well. 

As such was my mind when the BBC gives us ‘‘Speak and be heard’: Why black media matters’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-53142308/speak-and-be-heard-why-black-media-matters), added to that is “Sara Lomax-Reese owns WURD, one of a handful of black-owned and operated radio stations in the US. Her father, Dr Walter P Lomax Jr, was a respected physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He originally acquired the station in 2003 in an effort to amplify and empower the voices of Philadelphia’s black community.” with a less than 3 minute video. That is all!

So one might deduce that black lives do not really matter that much at all. And now I give that proof.

The Evidence?

The video is really good, it gave me a lot more than I bargained for. It starts with a link to the 1996 Telecommunications Act where according to the video individual voices were eliminated. The Wiki page (at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WURD) gives some information, but I am baffled by the amount of information that we do not see. We get the gist, poison and speculations (facts too) of nearly every reality TV station on the planet. Most of them in great detail, in case of WURD it ends with “The new owners reinstituted the WURD call sign. After a period of apparent indecision during which the station aired various types of music and CNN Headline News, management settled on the current talk format.

So even if I wanted to slap the BBC around, I would be partially unable to do so, there is not much, as such I wonder how trained are the ‘all black lives matter’ in the stage of digital media. Even now as I listen to WURD Radio (streaming) I wonder what more they can do in light of the stage that they are on. 

I hear a lot of references towards Facebook, they give all kinds of Coronavirus information and a lot of Philadelphia news. There is nothing bad about WURD, I am just amazed at how little information on WURD is out there. If we see the digital media, I feared a tidal wave of information drowning me, that is not the case. So as I listen to Solomon Jones, I wonder just  how much more could be done, let’s face it, if black lives truly matter, then they need a voice box that is a lot larger than we are now seeing. Not the people screaming ‘black lives matter’, but voices that inform all others that they matter and that part is not out there. WURD is merely one station in a stage where there would be at least one station per state. And there are a lot more, via Google using “black radio stations US” I find 31 stations, so there is a lot more and whilst I get the news on a young man who gets a whole clip (14 bullets) in his body, I get it that they are talking about it. From my personal experience I know that 1 bullet stops a person, the second shot kills that person. In keeping a community safe we need to see that a lot of questions need to be asked, but at present the mood is too hot and too emotional to see any progress, but questions need to be asked. I personally believe that a clear voice needs to be available. In all this the voice of Solomon Jones comes across clearly. So why does the BBC article have merely 34 words with a less than 3 minute video? This is what I see as evidence. 

In all this it did not need to be merely about WURD, although I must admit that they bring it nicely. And it is here that I notice the first improvement. When you seek a station and you find it, Google gives the low down on the right side, yet if EVERY station found would have a stream button right there, it would optionally become a first step in improving and increasing the visibility of every station. In this stage of globalisation, being able to listen to a local station is actually more important than you could ever imagine. And it is at this point that the video shows the gem it has at the near end: “Media Institutions are in some way cultural institutions”, when we realise that and we wonder how big business has gotten a grasp of strangling budgets to kill of cultural aspects we see a much larger failure, if the Gates Foundation is so close to bringing good, then the idea of them bringing a million dollars a year for every State in advertisement money to these stations, is not a big request, let’s face it paying for advertisements makes sense, and before it is dwindled down to the presentation that digital media is cheaper, wonder how much print advertisement is used, is it such a leap to give these rural and local media stations some of these dollars? Oh, and it is not merely Microsoft or the Gates Foundation, I reckon that it is in the interest of the entire FAANG group to dwindle some dollars in that direction. 

We might believe that it is all cultural and we get it, but culture needs fuel, if it is not fed, it dies, the formula is that simple and as we see the results in the US, we see what anger does when it lacks culture to give wisdom to those in anger, a person who has nothing to live for is the most dangerous man in the game, perhaps that is why a young boy got 14 bullets, it makes us wonder how desperate and how uncertain the person was that was shooting the young black man.

Even as the BBC gave light to WURD, I see that a lot more should have been done.If it was up to me, the video (the entirety) would be part of a 10-20 minute video on local news and how it could optionally temper and improve lives, not merely black lives, but all lives. We all want to see the a better world where all people have a place and optionally a place where they can voice concerns, it is (my personal believe) that larger business enterprises see that as a hindrance to their bottom line and that is the biggest evil, that is why the FAANG group needs to be involved, if the biggest firms become a shield the others will stop their game and we see will over time see a better answer to the one that the 1996 Telecommunications Act seemingly brought.

 

 

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Contemplations

We all contemplate, we consider, we weigh and we make decisions after the contemplation. Yet it is not always that simple, at times the contemplation comes after what preceded. I cannot continue my novel until the laptop arrives, and even as it is completely unrelated to the idea I had for an optional TV series, the idea is still sound, as such I am considering whether the elements in it can be added to my novel, I am only at 60,000 words, it is something that I have to contemplate. We all have similar issues, it is notalways about writing, or playing a game, some contemplations are serious, some are not, yet they too tend to refract into serious parts of our lives, even if we are not initially aware of it. 

It is not the only thing that I am contemplating. I have seen over the last few days all kinds of messages, ‘tweaked’ advertisements and messages of a sort on how we can change business decisions after the Coronavirus. I am baffled on the premise of ‘new approaches to business’, I am willing to accept that new business is where you find it, yet the oversized issue is misreporting, mismanagement of government funds and mismanaging of attempts to look cool, all whilst we know that actual scientists need actual time to investigate. The greed driven elements before the Corona situation had created empty shells with the idea that some time in the future it would fix itself, all whilst those elements knew perfectly well that these things never fix themselves, they are merely pushed onto the next administration. An abuse on a global scale and the people see the impact now, they now get to live in a new situation and they elected the people that put them in that position. These governments never went out to muzzle the EU to the degree needed, as such well over € 3,000,000,000,000 in debt, as such the EU had no reserves left for what is coming now. And it did this after it was clear that the first trillion did not do what they hoped, yet they wanted it, because money has to roll and as such another stint of spending became the concept of normal. All this, whilst the proper stage of properly setting up tax laws for corporations have never been done, delayed decade after decade. All this whilst the EU had no issues to reject (in November 2019) any move to show names of those using tax avoidance a stage where the people would see the proposed situation where firms had to reveal profits made and taxes paid in EVERY EU nation they operated in, I reckon that the FAANG group has powerful friends all over the EU, and these 12 members should be looked at with a lot more scrutiny. The FAANG group is avoiding an estimated $500,000,000,000 a year, as such the irony is laughable, it would have paid for the issue they face now and in that same setting education and housing in Europe would be close to fixed, a stage history never had before. Yet, those with a low tax shelter option were happy to reject, they included Ireland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Austria, Croatia and the Czech Republic. We all see the damage, but we are all so relieved that Apple is now a $1,500,000,000,000 company, Yes, at what expense? It is food for contemplation.

So as we see not on how we can work from home and what we need to do it properly, I wonder what happened to all those tax reductions in the 90’s so that we could work from home, there is an apparent lag in what was regarded as enough and is now showing to be inadequate. So whilst some applaud ‘EU did not witness any major internet congestion’, it comes without the mention that Netflix and YouTube slowed down services to avoid congestion, apparently full services are not possible, but that is a story for another time (in the very far future if it was up to them). So whilst BEREC (an EU regulator) was all about the reporting mechanism to monitor internet traffic, we see that I gave you the links yesterday to other people who see that most of them cannot even report the amount of people getting the Coronavirus and optional those dying from it. As such we see another optional example that human lives matter less than any danger to what is laughingly called ‘the economy’, weird is it not? 

OK, I agree that one is not the other, but it seems that when the economy is in danger a whole additional range of support services come into play, when the lives of people are on the line, this support is seemingly missing. The EU shows even more signs of lag on different levels. In other news (as stated in my previous blog) we see Humanitarian actions that are empty and other pacifist actions that are useless, yet their actions pushed close to $13,000,000,000 out of UK and US hands and handed it to both Russia and China, in addition there are several damaged deal thatSaudi Arabia had with Germany, but I have no numbers on that. So whilst I am not anti-Humanitarian, I am a pragmatist and it seems that hollow actions are just that hollow in a time and age that none can afford, even now, we seem to be utterly anti-Saudi Arabia, yet there is no factual reason to do this. In opposition we see that the actions against Iran are close to non-existent, all whilst Forbes reported yesterday that there are 100 new naval vessels in Iran, it seems that there is a lot to contemplate, especially as some EU players are hiding behind the Nuclear deal like it is a Santa wish list, all whilst we see from several directions, some less than a day old ‘New tensions dim hopes for salvaging Iran Nuclear deal’ and ‘New IAEA report is reminder of old problems with the Iran Nuclear Deal’ a stage that shows that Iran does what it pleases and takes no time to be civil about it, when it is conventional it is one thing, the nuclear side is a direct threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia and the EU players are willing to burn those two elements if they look better, because Iran will make some bullshit excuse on how it was not their fault, that it was a fanatic and they possibly misjudged the situation and those European players will all nod in agreement, their pockets optionally lined with income never earned. And we are all letting it happen.

It is perhaps our greatest flaw, we do not act when we should, we let greed driven motivations overwhelm our needs and we seek to blame someone when we all let this happen, as contemplations go, we have to think through a lot at present and we need to do it faster.

 

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When stupid people aren’t

Something woke me up from relaxed to fuming. It started when the headline ‘Austerity to blame for 130,000 ‘preventable’ UK deaths‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/01/perfect-storm-austerity-behind-130000-deaths-uk-ippr-report) was given.

And it is all from the IPPR think-tank. This was nice because this gives us a target to look at. The first thing to realise is that Austerity is a tool to get out of debt, from the 90’s onward, the UK amassed a debt that is now approaching £2,000 billion, the debt is now getting to multiple trillions and a democracy that is at the mercy of banks and corporations is not a democracy at all, it is not even a monarchy, it becomes a feudal stage. Like the US, the UK let slip their tax laws and was a bitch of the EU when tax laws were pushed that gave freedom to really large companies to end up paying a mere 1% or less (the FAANG group being a very nice example).

So whilst the penny is out there, remember that the British people as a voter should have voted down excessive spending, but that was never done and now two decades of austerity will follow. The British children get to pay for what their parents spend, or used. In addition, the IPPR joke gets to be a little larger with ‘Two decades of public health improvements have stalled‘, Lets go back 8-10 years when we learned that the Labour government launched an IT improvement that never worked. It comes down that the NHS ended up spending £11.2 billion on a computer system that never worked. It is a collection of stupid people, short sighted demands and lack of comprehension that pushed for a system that never came. So where will the NHS get these funds to fund health improvements? Well they spend it on a computer system that never worked. I wonder if that is in the think tank research (me thinks it is not).

So when we are confronted with “An estimated two in five (44%) of health visitors reported caseloads in excess of 400 children, well above the recommended level of 250 per visitor needed to deliver a safe service.” The report recommends another 5,100 training places for health visitors. In a statement, the Local Government Association said the government urgently needed to reverse the £700m reduction in public health funding since 2015 and plug a £3.6bn gap in funding for adult social care by 2025“, a finding that is most likely correct and on the money is on the money for funds that the UK does not have. As the UK government is in the red to the degree of two thousand billion pounds, it needs to cut costs or increase corporate taxation to a degree that is acceptable, until the debts go down we would all have to make do with what is left until there is more. So when I see: ‘The IPPR calls‘, in addition to ‘radical new prevention strategy‘, I say, let’s call a spade a spade and not give it the illustrious stage of calling it a money scoop, because there is no money. In addition, the stage of ‘radical new prevention strategy‘ tends to refer to untested actions that have not been proven to be successful and we have had more than enough of those.

So when I start looking at the IPPR I find a few interesting parts. First, their HQ address is: 14 Buckingham Street, WC2N 6DF, not the address of the charity, the address of their headquarters. Now apart from it being right in front of the Victoria Embankment gardens, a place where real estate that is so expensive, I get to wonder how a charity has any money left. Its Director Tom Kibasi also draws flak from others; one Editor in Chief was able to give us all: “Tom Kibasi is at one or other of the leftish think tanks and therefore, by definition, doesn’t know his economic arse from his elbow. This coming into stark relief when he starts to talk about the effects of Brexit. For he’s claiming that the European Union will, through general nefarity, manage to steal away all Britain’s industry. Without realising that they’ve simply not got the ability to do so“, as I myself have admitted to have no economy degree at all (more than once), I feel slightly too short on economic qualifications to counter one side or the other, but the article (at https://continentaltelegraph.com/brexit/its-a-pity-tom-kibasi-doesnt-know-anything-about-the-economics-of-brexit/) shows a few sides to consider. Yet I feel that the editor giving us: “Getting the basics of the balance of payments wrong is embarrassing for anyone purporting to tell us about economics. We can’t have a balance of payments crisis. It’s simply not possible” a larger consideration to address and what I saw and he might have seen is the danger behind the quote: the UK is heavily reliant on foreign investment – the “kindness of strangers” – which would likely collapse“, this is only half a truth, what is set through “giving sufficient time for firms like Airbus, Nissan or AstraZeneca to relocate production” is a larger danger. You see these companies have been hiding the ‘discounted taxation or we leave’ card over our head for the longest of times. The car industry left Australia because there were cheaper deals to be found elsewhere, in that time Australia basically legalised slave labour, what a rush!

Yes, these people can relocate, yet to players like AstraZeneca we can impose a no trade deal, we give their competitors (like India) the option to giving generic medication. Let us push to pharmacy button who claims ‘It is all the same sir, it is just cheaper‘, and see how that goes. As I see it, when Astra Zeneca has to report a lost consumer base of 68 million, the game changes for them by a lot, will it not?

The issue with IPPR is larger, it is seen in their own funding, those who fund over £50,000 (at https://www.ippr.org/about/how-we-are-funded). Do you not think that they have their own agenda? Stephen Peel, a former senior partner at the global private equity firm TPG CapitaLand private equity investor? Some might call him a philanthropist, but you have to spend money to make money is merely one example. The IPPR is not evil, they are political presenters, they are politically left inclined, optionally far left and they want to stage the labour needs to end austerity, but that government spend so much we are all still paying the bills. But I will make a counter offer to Tom Kibasi:

Any action regarding ending austerity requires a balanced budget to be presented on time, any government that does not achieve that is liable for prosecution and prison sentence for no less than 3 years and all their assets are to be auctioned to recover losses. In addition, that party is not eligible to sit in office until the agreement ends (after the completion of the election of 2097), it is time to deal the banks the chains that they are putting around the necks of governments and people.

I agree that my solution is Draconian, but people like Tom Kibasi aren’t leaving us any options are they?

Do they have a case? Well, yes they do to some degree, there is truth in the matter, there is no denying that, merely the stage where the ‘presenter’ has a case of the denials when it comes to fact that the children (parliament) used mommy’s credit card (HRH Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor) to an unacceptable degree is a fact the UK faces, there is a cost of doing business and a consequence to excessive overspending, the mere issue that most players refuse to look into that direction is additional cause for concern. The fact that they still refuse to look there is a danger as they will do this again and after an £11.2 billion spending spree on an IT system that never worked is too large a danger to allow for. The fact that the IPPR found it not to be important to look at these budget cuts (which regarding their paper) might be relevant, but in light of their conclusion the so called: “if improvements in public health policy had not stalled as a direct result of austerity cuts” was seemingly not done. The actual need for austerity in all this was utterly ignored, how does that make for a functional think tank? Should the board not be observed from all angles? And if that was not the goal for whoever requested that study? What this study conceived by Director Tom Kibasi? He just woke up and said: ‘Let us look at this issue‘, or did he get a call from someone who told him to look into that matter, as exposure would be profitable for those who need these results in the open? The stage that this part of the Think Tank occupies is (at present) utterly in the dark raises other questions too, do they not?

When someone uses a charity to expose the need to spend money, someone is making money in the process; the human condition has shown that to be a truth for the longest of times.

 

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As perception becomes awareness

That is the stage we often face, we perceive we acknowledge, we become aware and that awareness becomes the reality we face towards the new reality we did not comprehend before. It is usually not that great a path to be on, especially when you see that the path you are on has a distinct route taking you to exactly the place no one wanted you to be.

Yet for the CAAT (Campaign against the Arms Trade), especially Andrew Smith, and optionally both Martin Chamberlain QC and Liam Fox as well. It is important to see that these people are not evil, they are not delusional and they are not entirely wrong, yet the reality that was given by CNBC half a day after my article ‘When the joke is on us all‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/04/07/when-the-joke-is-on-us-all/) is now entering a new dimension. As CNBC gives us ‘Russian expansion in the Middle East is a ‘clear reality on the ground,’ WEF president says‘, we are also given: “Moscow has signed technical agreements and memoranda of understanding to sell its S-400 and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar“, there is now optional noise that this could include a nice batch of shiny new MIG’s, as well as a few other items where we see that the UK is soon to lose the option to make £5 billion for its treasury giving the BAE Systems now headaches to content with. Anything that is related or connected to the UK facilitating to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia could optionally not happen, or will be receiving the standard ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you‘ status. Isn’t ideology great?

We might all (including me) accept the quote: “There is “overwhelming evidence” of violations of human rights law by both the Saudi-led coalition and other forces in Yemen, lawyers for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) told the court on Tuesday.” Most will be forgetting that to all interpretation, the Houthi forces are terrorist forces. Their connection with Hezbollah and Iran is not enough, the short and sweet is that they were not an elected government, they merely moved towards a coup d’état and instigated the war we see now.

So there we are, I now have to talk to the United Aircraft Corporation, owned and founded by Vladimir Putin and the parent organisation of the makers of the MIG, so as I try to get a meeting with the ‘Pоссийская Самолетостроительная Корпорация‘, on being their new exclusive contact for sales to Saudi Arabia (yes, I know, I have no chance in hell there, but I remain an eternal optimist), we see on how the high nosed ideologists are costing the UK billions, all that whilst the opposite of what the Saudi coalition is facing has been ignored or trivialised by a lot of people. You merely have to see what you can on Al-Manar (Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon) to realise that Hezbollah is still a player there, it is less visible when it comes to Iran, Iran is playing the field low key and on what some call the down low. Even as the evidence is clear that Houthi forces have Iran drones, the way they got them remains unclear, speculated, but not proven and that too must be noted.

Yet in this era, and under these settings we now see that due to the CAAT, the UK will lose more footing and will have less of a voice at the grown up table that is trying to resolve the issues in Yemen. In the end the CAAT achieved nothing but the dwindling revenue stream for the UK, yet the Russian Federation will be grateful and if I get the job, I will send a huge hamper to the three parties involved (after my first bonus payment that is), the voice makers so to say.

This is the setting that governments and large corporations created form 2004 onwards, we all might have a huge national pride, but in the end, we need to sell, we need to make the cash that is required for rent and food and those in a stage where they set high moral borders in places where the impact is actually zero, you have no value, you have no gain, you merely end up with unpaid bills.

Now if governments had done something about the FAANG group 15 years ago, it would be different, but that is not the case, that is not the reality we face. You see, the fighters are just the start, as we enabled the Russians to get a foot in the door, they now have a direct path to both Syria (they already had options there) as well as Saudi Arabia (and optionally Qatar) to start deploying (read selling and training) these nations on the Altius-M drone. Especially in places where the price of a fighter is basically the same as three drones, drones will be the path many nations go and even as the America Predator looks leaner and meaner, the acts of US Congress as well as that from UK Parliament is now opening the doors for Russia, which is not a good thing (except if I get the job, it will be awesome at that point).

It goes from Bad to worse, especially for America. You see, the MIG-35 and the Altius-M are merely the start. In the end, the gold is found (for Russia that is) with the Sukhoi Su-57, I know little about that plane, yet the stories that it can outperform the F-35 are from sources that are not to be ignored, so even when we hear that the US has plans to counter that, in light of their failed USS Zumwalt comedy caper, those plans can be sneered at until they prove to work. And in the end it is almost as simple as: “Do you want this flag to be on a British, American, or Russian product?

This all matters!

You see, the arms race is important not because they are weapons, but because the economies get huge incentives through those commercialised items. The fact that at present 6 nations are on the list for that new gadget and in light of the high winded American response in the past on who was allowed to buy a F-22 Raptor and it was vetting its allies in a crazy way. Now, in all truth there might be a case for that (I honestly cannot tell), but now that we see that Russia is willing to sell to sovereign states and they have no bar, whilst we see the unconfirmed part of: “State-run Chinese media is claiming that the People’s Liberation Army has been able to track the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor” implies that the stealth part is less stealthy than we thought it was, and any evidence will drive sales towards Russia too. All parts that had much less chance of happening as the UK systems were proven, they were great and now, or optionally soon, we get the resolution that sales to Saudi Arabia are off. Whether that is right or wrong is not for me to decide, but the fact that the £5 billion loss of revenue is triggering a $12 billion shift in other directions, optionally towards Russia is a part that most ignored to the larger extent, a sales path denied because people forgot that in any war, especially against terrorist forces, the people will always be in the middle. Oh, and if you think that it is all bad, consider that the makers of the F-22 Raptor (Lockheed Martin) also has other paths, so the F-22 profits also forges upgrades and new options in commercial flying, cyber solutions, Radar solutions, Communication platforms and a lot more, in that we see BAE Systems that has services in finance, Cyber security, Compliance solutions and a lot more. Now, the one sale towards Saudi Arabia might not impact it to the largest degree, but a change has been made and the competitors now get a larger slice to play with, and it can lead to additional repeat business, it is not a secret, it is not even an unknown, any person with a decent knowledge in Business Intelligence could have told you that and there is the problem, the one-sided ideology of CAAT is now optionally going to cost the UK a lot more than anyone bargained for.

As I said, I have nothing against ideologists and ideology is great when it can to some degree adhere to commercial reality, and selling to a sovereign nation is intelligent and common sense packaged together, yet when soft-hearted people overreact on events in Yemen, whilst the stage comes from Iranian funded terrorism, how can we go against that? The fact that 16 million Yemeni’s are in danger form several sides (disease and famine) whilst the Houthi terrorists are depriving these people of food, whilst they do everything to stop humanitarian aid via Hodeida and other places, are we not buttering the bread of terrorists?

How can you sleep knowing that this is happening?

BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and United Aircraft Corporation are not evil, they are not a danger, they sell to governments and all three want to sell to the same governments making this a buyers’ market. The moment you forgot about that part of the equation, that did not make you an ideologist, it made you short sighted and that is my largest concern on CAAT, the fact they are needlessly depriving the UK government of treasury income, yet speaking for selfishly coated me, if it pays my bills, I am all fine with that in the end.

 

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This was actual news, how?

OK, I have slammed many of the large corporations, members of the FAANG group, Microsoft (on the mere principle of joy), IBM, because we have to and a whole range of other technology providers. We could work on the conundrum that a UK comedian once gave us:

How long must we bash Microsoft, not merely for the joy, but because it is our civic duty to do so?

Apparently his equation also applies to UKIP, Nigel Farage, the LibDems and Nick Clegg. At times, I have hit out at Google decisions as well, because at times, in critical points of exposure we need to do that. Not merely because of a $340 million payout they would owe me for bringing them a patented solution worth $3.4 billion, but you get the package deal. If you cannot say where it is at when it matters, whatever happens will never matter, and I prefer not to work for anyone who does not matter, or whatever they bring matters to no one, it is a stage of work that is self-destructive in the end, and who wants that?

My bosses have always known that, they always knew where they stood with me, no exceptions. I hate bosses who are too scared to give me the bad news. You know those bosses who over the course of the week go from. ‘We would like this to get done’, then we get ‘It would be best if we can manage this to be completed, optionally at the end of the week’ and on the Friday afternoon we get ‘If we do not present it on Monday morning, jobs will be on the line’, so we work throughout the weekend, whilst the previous Monday we could have been given the reality of ‘This has to be presented next Monday morning, so we need to put in the hours to get it done’ There we would have known what we were in for. Not to overly stressed stage of a weekend to resolve issues (whether realistic or not).

These bosses are still around, they are the epiphany of cowardice, they cannot relay bad news, no matter what is ahead.

Why are we getting this?

The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/11/google-tvc-full-time-employees-training-document) gave us less than 9 hours ago: ‘Revealed: Google’s ‘two-tier’ workforce training document‘, we get “Google staff are instructed not to reward certain workers with perks like T-shirts, invite them to all-hands meetings, or allow them to engage in professional development training, an internal training document seen by the Guardian reveals“, and my answer is: ‘So what?

I was one of those people, I was assigned exclusively to Google and I did not get that stuff, we got some of that stuff via our own office. I NEVER took offense, because I was hired and employed by someone else, I was merely exclusively assigned to Google. There was no lack of clarity; there was no lack of information and no lack of assistance. Google is a world by itself, it opens EVERY door within Google and those employed there have access to pretty much EVERYTHING. So it is in all kinds of manners an IP nightmare in the making, as such it is important to know what you can do, what you can access and where you can be. They never denied us food, coffee, snacks, or access to the materials we needed to do our jobs, we merely did not get everything and I get it, I always understood that this is a nightmare for the actual Googlers as well.

So there is an actual harsh truth in: “Working with TVCs and Googlers is different,” the training documentation, titled the The ABCs of TVCs, explains. “Our policies exist because TVC working arrangements can carry significant risks.” I do not believe I ever did anything inappropriate there, I never betrayed the trust of Google; I never short changed their customers on service. Apparently 2 years later there are still agencies that look back on my service very positive, that is my reward, I did a good job and that is what I always wanted to do, a good job. I also always wanted to be a Googler, because of the access to so many bright minds, it is intoxicating. For 20 years I was the only light in a company (because of my function), pushed into a cubicle with the books , manuals and data sets, the guru on a lonely mountain. To walk into the room with similar bright minds and knowing that I am not even close to the brightest mind is awesome, for me trying to keep up with them was a challenge, one anyone would miss. It is like training with Braden Holtby and Martin Jones for next week line-up as a goalie (in realistic terms, I would end up in 4th position there), but I will fight for it, no matter what, so Braden better bring his flaming A-game to that practice round.

I also did not take offense to: “According to a current employee with access to the figures, of approximately 170,000 people around the world who now work at Google, 50.05% are FTEs. The rest, 49.95%, are TVCs“, perhaps I should, or perhaps I should not. Well, I am no longer a TVC, so it does not matter, you see, that is corporate policy. It is what some would call: ‘Above my pay grade’. For the most I want to do a good job, have a decent place to live in and do it just like I did many decades, I am a workaholic at heart, I feel no denial or shame.

So when I see: “The letter detailed some of the material concerns that TVCs face due to Google’s differential treatment, including lower wages and “minimal benefits”“, I wonder what that is about, because I never had any income complaints and the lunches I had there were awesome (and a nice plus). The work was well staged, the equipment was there and working (they have an excellent IT department), which in light of some other places was a nice step forward. Perhaps it was lower wages, I do not know, I was hired on a clear premise and they fulfilled it 100% (110% is you consider one or two extras). Yes, I did notice that the Googlers had all kinds of extras. They have a job to do, a target to make and whether they did or not, I do not know. I did what I had to do and there was no negativity. Perhaps it is different in other nations, perhaps a place like Mountain View has other parts, I cannot tell. Yet when I personally see: “Google routinely denies TVCs access to information that is relevant to our jobs and our lives,” the letter states. “When the tragic shooting occurred at YouTube in April of this year, the company sent real-time security updates to full-time employees only, leaving TVCs defenseless in the line of fire. TVCs were then excluded from a town hall discussion the following day.” I see an issue, one that he article does not give.

  1. I never was denied information that was relevant to my job, I got at times a whole lot more information than I bargained for.
  2. Leaving TVC’s defenseless in the line of fire‘, I cannot tell, I was not there, was that actually the case, or was that perception? That is an important distinction, and I feel certain (to a small degree) that the writer Julia Carrie Wong cannot tell that for certain either.
  3. Excluded from a town hall discussion, makes sense because as a TVC I would not be an employee of Google, my boss if I was exposed to that would inform me and then make sure I got all the support I needed, because my boss was great in that regard.

So we have one part with three elements where two parts could be wiped form the ledger immediately leaving one optional discussion.

Bloomberg gives an additional part. there we get: “One contractor, who works 50 to 60 hours a week in Google’s marketing division, said TVCs are treated as “collateral damage” who can be hired and fired on short notice to help the company achieve business goals quickly and cheaply.” that is the nature of the beast, that is the impact of being a temp, I have been a temp for many years and I preferred being an actual employee, but it was work and at some point I became an employee of a large software firm, sitting on the other side of that equation. And even today I would not shy away from being a Google TVC. I was never treated wrongly. For the most I was never treated wrongly at any firm hiring me as a temp, oh and on the side, those 50 hours were all paid for, as an employee I did not get that overtime. We all have moments that suck, we all feel a little down when we are the employee that is not invited to the corporate party, no free booze and food (mostly food mind you).

I understand that there are plenty of temps that feel unhappy about being a temp versus being an employee and that is to be expected, most of us have been there one day or another. Yet in this stage of so many people without a job, any job will do, that includes temps. As for the quote Another TVC described full-time staff asking her to move from an office desk or cutting ahead of her in line for coffee because she was a contractor and therefore not as important“, I have NEVER experienced that or seen that in any of the three Google offices I have been in. In the end, we should realise that any company will hire its own variation of jerk, or douche bag, it happens, want to blame the company for that? Good luck trying to work for the CIA at some point.

Bu the way, I had to do some of those training modules and you should all see that this is done so that there is clarity, so that you do not accidentally set yourself up for a harsh fall, because someone will cry with the claim of false promises, or the statement that someone got bought (or hundreds of other dangers). Google is pretty good that way (likely merely for self-defence purposes), making sure that the person knows what they need to know.

And perhaps it is ‘all about saving money‘. Let’s face it google has a few hundred courses running, do you want to lose time and resources training 10,000 contractors on skills they do not even need? I always had access to all the trainings I needed and they made sure that there was work time available to do these courses, which in opposition from bosses making me go to some of them in a weekend setting is a great plus. I would happily walk up to Duncan Lewis requesting access to the long range training with the .338 Accuracy International AWM. You never know when a dingo comes for your baby, and that apparently happened for real (and in an Oscar setting), we must be ready and vigilant and it is not like Duncan has anything better to do with his time, but to approve for my needs, right?

We need to see what is required and what a person was hired to do, it is not kind or friendly or accommodating, but that is not why people get hired, hired as either temps or employees. We seem to forget that in places like Google, Microsoft and IBM, employees get for the most their full access as it is a return on investment for the firm to give them the knowledge, to keep staff versatile, that line does not apply to temp staff. We seemingly forget that part at times.

So when we see: “In 2000, Microsoft agreed to pay a $97m settlement over a massive class-action lawsuit brought by permatemps“, it is optionally not because Microsoft did anything wrong (I honestly do not know that part). There is an unwritten part and a clear part and sometimes that field is jurisprudentially too grey too fathom and settling would be much cheaper in the end. Yet when I was at Google, there was no non clarity; the actual Googlers were happy, friendly and kind all the time. That year was one of the best ones in my entire working career and that is saying something. So when I see: “We are legally in the clear to treat people like garbage.” I can tell you right now that I never experienced or perceived such treatment by anyone at Google ever, which leaves us with a lot more question regarding this article and as such I wonder how these sources were vetted. It might all be on the up and up and I will say sorry, accepting that my personal experience is merely one of 49.95% of 170,000 staff.

So I might be the positive outlier and I will happily admit to that is that is the case, yet I see here merely one view of an American side of a corporation that operates in 219 countries, and as far as I can tell 70 offices in 50 countries (3 in Sydney), from that point of view I wonder how accurate or acceptable this article actually is.

 

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That Grrrrrrr moment

I have had my issues with the large corporations for the longest of times. I am not against their existence, I have nothing against corporations making wealth and having a great run of revenue, being against that is just lame and idiotic. Yet corporations should be held to account, properly taxed. So whilst politicians hide behind the coattails of economists like Thomas Piketty for all the most idiotic and self centrered reasons, how about we change a few other things first?

The article ‘Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/09/eu-brexit-piketty-tax-google-facebook-apple-manifesto), needs to get a clue, and fast. In addition buying a few vowels from Susie Dent is not the worst idea either. this is a personal joke towards Chrononhotonthologos (a Scrabble hit) and the mention of “As you both behave to Night, You shall be paid to Morrow“, a different stroke towards consultancy for shaping ones economy. As I see: “A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and right-wing populism sweeping the continent“, my blood goes slightly on the boil. How about properly taxing the members of the FAANG group? (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google), or How about stopping the EU gravy train by at least 85%?

Two elements optionally bringing in billions and you know this! These people are given leeway in ways most people cannot fathom. ‘The Rotten Apple: Tax Avoidance in Ireland‘ gives us: “The European Commission found that Ireland gave Apple preferential tax treatment which amounted to $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes between 2003 and 2014. Due to Apple’s tax havens in Ireland, they have taken advantage of U.S. and Irish tax regulations” and that is merely the top of the iceberg. When we see the angering part with: “In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014” (source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2923_en.htm), we see that the EU has failed itself and now we see the unacceptable quote: ‘€800bn of levies‘, whilst we get it set into some ‘tax the rich’ status, we need to be weary of the delusional setting of these “more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries“. So when we see: “by taxing corporate profits more effectively, as well as income and wealth“. In the foundation that step is not wrong, I am all for properly taxing corporations, yet the EU is part of the problem, it has given away the keys to banks and corporations to so as they like. I do believe that ‘0.005 per cent of profit‘ is ample evidence of that. It is the ‘tax the wealth that is an issue’, because that is where the problem starts. The wealth tax is 5000 times higher than Apple apparently pays. the first sign where we see: “an extra 15% levy on corporate profits, tax increases on individuals earning more than €100,000, a wealth tax on personal fortunes above €1m, and a tax on carbon emissions“, is the problem. These high paid wankers (pardon my French) is not about getting to the corporations, it is the ‘personal fortune‘ that they seem to be after. Now, before you think that you are safe, think again. Your house is part of that making many people considered to be multimillionaires; they now all get a levy on what these gravy train wannabes call ‘fairness’. How about holding all the economic advisors of all governments to account, for any wrongful advice that impacted the government and European coffers negatively for over €250,000, we fine these advisors with €25,000 euro, all of them. This is likely to impact all those economists that hid behind ‘it was a complex situation‘, or ‘carefully phrased denial of corporate facilitation‘. This is the easiest to see with the Dutch fiasco called Fyra (a high speed train) that impacted tax payers by €11 billion. When we see “The Fyra-story also demonstrates that powerful corporate interests (in this case Dutch Railways’ desire to remain the sole rail service provider in The Netherlands) can abuse their position and waste an unbelievable amount of taxpayers’ money“, on a short sighted and narrow-minded view of what the ego wants, whilst the coffers cannot ever afford a scheme that will never be cost effective, we see: “Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad reported in January that the HSA never had the intention to operate a “true” high speed rail service; a strong piece of investigative journalism stated that a speed of 220 kilometers per hour had been deemed sufficient for the Dutch portion of the route from the git-go by the HSA executives (by comparison, high speed rail service in Germany and France exceeds 300 kilometers per hour)“, the setting of simple definitions where the different nations in the EU could not agree on that mere setting. So how about giving a fine to all decision makers costing the Dutch government 11 billion? How about making the bulk of tax deductibles no longer applicable? Any corporation can make a profit when corporate tax is one percent or less, it is time to set the proper stage of corporation tax and that part they imply to get right, but they cannot, so these individuals add ‘a wealth tax on personal fortunes above €1m‘. You see, they do not set it on personal fortunes over €15 million, and hit the truly wealthy, no they need a lot more, because properly taxing the FAANG group (and several others) is just too dangerous. I would in my least diplomatic setting offer that the entire economic fiasco could have been avoided. If their fathers had jerked off over the radiator, instead of impregnating their wives, the entire economic danger to all of us would have died with a sizzle, how wrong am I now? (OK, admitted I am totally lacking diplomacy here)

So when we see: “From a tax on personal wealth and assets: an additional 1% on estates valued at above €1m and 2% on those above €5m” accounting for over 25%, we see a dang3er to too many people all over the EU. Try to find ANY apartment or house for less than €700K in most European metropolitan area’s; it will hit too many people, whilst the truly rich will avoid disaster. This entire matter is as I personally see it a joke.

I suggest:

Any government not being able to hold its budget within 2% over budget, its elected politicians will have to return 25% of their income, those who are unable to do so are removed from office and in addition will have to be incarcerated for no less than the full term +2 years of that government. Regardless, of this, in addition, the entire Gravy train comes to a standstill (and right quick). For these people travel and housing expenses are reduced by 60%, they should be ab le to find a cheaper solution. The Guardian gave us in 2016: “According to a European Union financial transparency system, commission staff spent €22,193 (£17,610) staying at the five-star Shangri-La hotel in Singapore and €54,677 at the five-star Stamford hotel in Brisbane in 2014. Other expenses listed that year include €439,341 on Abelag/Luxaviation, a luxury private jet provider, and €23,696 on chauffeur taxi services“, that needs to stop as well. It is my personal view that Thomas Piketty and his 50 economists (an optional new version of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves) should have stayed in their cave, and not come out at all. Now we have the setting to go over these 50 economists and seek all the things that they helped hide from their senior peers and that is essential now. You see as we are introduced to “a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe“, is also the optional setting to hold these people who cased all of this by facilitating to corporations and banks to account through prosecution. I find it tasteless and unacceptable that just like Greece, those who caused the mess get to walk away with a pretty penny in their pocket as well.

And this mess is not nearly over. When we look at a few parts, we get to start with: ‘The 1999 Santer Commission Scandal‘, you would think that in 1999, when we get “a devastating report on fraud and nepotism attacked the EU’s executive body for serious management failings. All 20 members of the Commission stepped down, in what was described at the time as the biggest crisis in the European Commission’s history” (source: Brussels Times), you would think that this is the end of it. No no, (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-santer-idUKTRE80N1UG20120124) Reuters reported in 2012 ‘EU draws fire over Santer return to EU post‘ “Prompted to defend Santer at a late night press conference on Monday, Olli Rehn, the European commissioner in charge of economic and monetary affairs, tried to make light of it, saying journalists only became critical of Santer after Commission officials beat them in a football match in late 1998“, politicians making light of the situation in a farce involving nepotism, and as such we can make certain levels of claim towards corruption. Forms of corruption vary, yet they do include: bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. So as such, the fact that we allow European politicians to re-enter the EU commission after being found guilty here is just too unacceptable. That by itself could also be a cost saving exercise, so does our Thomas Rickety Piketty warlock have a spell on all of us, by merely setting a facade to make thing better for all of us, or merely not worse for some of them? I think that the escalations in France are making people, people in power worried; they are facing the straw that is breaking the camel’s back. This is not something that they are making on the spot. This has been coming for the longest of times and even as I am not against taxing the rich a little more, we need to realise that the entire exercise is merely seen (by me) as a way to paste labels to mere traffic diversions for opening avenues of collecting others.

The primary objective of this survey is to understand the level of corruption perceived by businesses employing one or more persons‘ (at http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/flash/fl_374_sum_en.pdf), there we see that 38% does not regard nepotism a problem, 40% think that tax rates are a problem (in all fairness, that is a valid point of view to have for any business), and 45% considers corruption not to be a problem. In that setting, changes are not easy, correct changes are near impossible, as we see the setting where corporations and politicians can work together on a ‘compromise’ that will hit the lowly paid taxpayers a lot more than anyone else.

I actually presented a taxed solution in 2015, there I wrote in regards to the UK budget: “So, helping those on low pay is fine, but only if we change Basic rate to 21% and higher rate to 42%, which means that above the £10,600, the basic income goes up by a maximum of £318 and in addition, high income get an additional maximum of £836. This allows us a balanced budget, and if you wonder why not the highest toll bracket? Well, they also get the 1% of the base and the 2% of high anyway, that group is dwindling down and to seek even more to that smaller group seems a little unfair (the non-bankers that is). The second premise here is that this extra collected fee can ONLY be used to balance out the lost revenue from the basic rate group that had their annual income between £10,000 and £13,000 per annum“. The premise was to give the lowest incomes a little extra cash, so we raise the 0% tax maximum point a little; in that case these people will have a little more and we all profit there. As the non-taxable part goes up by a rough £100 a month, the second bracket gets an additional 1%, so they pay £318 more each year, and the second group (the much larger group) pays an additional £836 above that. It leaves the extra £100 without impact on the treasury, giving them extra and still having a stage to reduce debt (as long as Labour is kept out of the treasury coffers). In this case there was no additional impact of the wealthy, their houses not at risk and we would all be a little more social, no, not according to Thomas, the Rickety Piketty warlock. He wants an additional €800 billion, from what I can tell, because they cannot get their tax rules in order, getting the proper taxation in place and with the FAANG group paying as reported a mere 0.005 per cent of profit taxed, how can we ever get a staged setting of corporations in a fair playing field?

In ‘In fear of the future‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/03/16/in-fear-of-the-future/) I addressed the stage of the annual £43 billion interest bill, interest is cash lost and the economy that has to pay that much every years is running to keep in the same place, so adding the minimal hardship to reduce that amount, hopefully by reducing the debt to the degree that the interest goes down £1-£3 billion a year would be great, yet not entirely realistic. focussing on reducing the interest by £1 billion a year for the first 10 years is possible, yet it comes at a price and properly taxing corporations at a level that allows them continuance and growth (yet optionally not at opening a new super shop every year) is an option to seek. And even as we see ‘taxing the rich’ in the UK, the true rich is a group of no more than 6000 people, how are they coming up with these billions? So as I stated (in 2015): “If we can believe the 2014 article by the Guardian, this will hit 6000 people, which means that it only raise a few millions, so taxing the rich has always seemed like and always remains a hilarious act of pointlessness. It is the 1% from the basic rate that will truly make a difference. It will drive the debt down faster, it will lower the interest bill which will help lower the debt even more.” It is perfectly valid to disagree with me on this one. Yet Rickety Pickety hedges his bets by giving us: “a tax on personal wealth and assets“, this includes your house and car. Now consider the amount of houses and apartments close to €1 million, in addition, we cannot see if retirement funds are seen as ‘wealth’, in that case, of that happens, the entire calculation will change drastically. Whatever we are trying to create for a rainy day will be overly taxed because politicians and economists could not do their job properly in the first place. In that economists have been tools for politicians for the longest of times as I personally see it and they need to be taxed (read: fined) for all their failures between 2003 and 2017. Let’s make those losses part of the requirement to address, shall we?

I wonder how many of these 50 autographs will suddenly vanish (read: get retracted) when we see them held to account for certain projects in real estate, energy and transportation endeavours, I am merely speculating here.

A ‘hidden’ statement at the top!

In the current setting of budget and taxation, please explain to me how ‘Quadrupling the current EU budget to 4% of GDP would raise about €800bn‘, how does upping the budget 4 times over (including the gravy train I reckon) help raising cash? Is he hiding behind ‘spend a little to get a lot‘? Is the $3 trillion QE bond buying fiasco not enough of a train wreck at present?

In the article we are also given a gem. It is Guntram Wolff who questioned the need for a continent-wide project. “If the cross-border transfer element is only 0.1%, why do the whole thing at EU level?” he asked. That is indeed a very good question. I personally see this as some EU fuelled stage where we suddenly see the report being used as a QE prolongation project. We can see part of this point of view in the Economist where we see (at https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/12/08/quantitative-easing-draws-to-a-close-despite-a-faltering-economy): “an extension to its targeted long-term repo operations, which offer banks cheap funding in return for lending to households and firms. That would benefit Italian banks most. They are heavy users of the scheme and the stand-off with Brussels has pushed up their borrowing costs. But to help them would be to ease the market pressure on Italy that might otherwise encourage fiscal rectitude. The agony of setting monetary policy only gets worse when politics comes into play.” In addition there was Seeking Alpha, who gave us last week: “Forward Guidance and Reinvestment Policy will then take QE’s place“, you say potato, and I say tomato. From my point of view it is not merely the application to move coins from the trouser pocket to the vest pocket, it is (as I personally see it), to move coins on their suits, in whatever pocket the can to present some level of status quo, a status that has been non-realistic for the longest of times.

So my simple solution, to merely add 1% and 2% to the middle class (and thus the upper class getting both as well optionally with a mere 1% added, gives us the option on national levels to finally do something about these crushing debts. the entire Thomas Piketty and his 50 abacus users report is not merely over the top, it is (as I personally see it) some under the waterline agenda to make certain changes that will facilitate for corporations to a larger degree in the end, because if they pay 15% on one end, you better believe that they get 20% from somewhere else (it is the trouser and vest pocket strategy). In all this, the people having a decent house merely get an invoice with the ‘Pay within the next 30 days’ routine in the end which I find offensive here. In the same manner where I stated a decade ago (it could have been 15 years) that from the very beginning, making ecommerce businesses tax accountable at the place of delivery (the buying consumer) would have been fair to all shops and merchants, none of that happened and in the end shops can no longer compete and close down. Crushed between cheap online competition and ego tripping landlords (the second most of all), we see that continuance is not an option and this links to the EU, as it is trying to prolong a system that is not merely unfair, it cannot be maintained in its current form. More taxation is not the option, it never was, holding politicians accountable to the expenditure and unbalanced tax laws that they allow for is a much larger weight on one side of the seesaw and that is drowning the economic status of all.

And consider merely one side, a mere example from the recent past. Bloomberg gave us “Apple is leasing about 500,000 square feet (46,451 square meters) of office space at the new headquarters, and plans to move 1,400 employees there. Bloomberg News reported last year that the building’s developers were on course to achieve less than half of their original return target as costs rose and wider economic uncertainty damps demand for the most expensive homes.” I do not mind that Apple moves, that they look good and prestigious, it is their right. Yet now consider the part: “Apple’s new UK headquarters will be part of a £14 billion redevelopment at Battersea Power Station“, as well as “it will take up around 40% of the office space in the old power station“. So 40% of the office space of a £14 billion project? How much tax exemption will they get there? Looking good through non taxability is nice, but that is all it is, nice, it should not allow for tax exemption. And if that makes them decide to move somewhere else, that is fine too. Consider that social housing got cut in that building so in 2017 we went from: “Battersea Power Station is determined to deliver 15% affordable homes, equating to 636 homes“, to “they slashed the number of affordable flats to just 386, a 40% reduction from original plans“, by taxing these options, we will ensure in many places that these so called milking investors take a step back and consider what should be allowed. This example is in the UK, yet there are examples all over Europe, interesting how that part is not highlighted, even as it is optionally part of the ‘taxing corporations’ event, what they lose on one side, they gain in the other. It is seemingly in opposition with Germany where we see ‘Hamburg to seize commercial property to house migrants‘, I use the word seemingly as I have not seen enough data to see whether I merely saw one side of the coin, that part is important too, yet I have seen in Sweden that there are tensions as well as a much better situation than the UK had, so there is space for improvement all over the EU (and the UK mind you), this all adds to the tensions as housing is the number one requirement and keeping that cost down, as well as that value down gives rise to the decrease of hogging and hoarding rental apartments, giving a playing field that is much more level and gives a release of economic tension to the largest European population and as that tension goes down, it will decrease other tensions as well. It does not solve the entire non-budgeting ability to 27 EU nations and as such it is not really part of this, but it is a strong covariant towards economic living of the entire EU population, that is very much a factor here. It does take care of division, disenchantment, and inequality to some degree. That we consider right-wing populism is pushed though the vision of an unfair and unacceptable gravy train and can be addressed by taking that train out of commission (well at least 85% that is). In the end I think that the mention of ‘the EU’s so-called democratic deficit‘, we could consider making nepotism prosecutable with an added lifelong ban on ever returning to any political post, EU or national. Did I oversimplify the problem for Thomas Piketty?

You tell me, and when you think I am wrong, that is perfectly fine, consider Alain Juppé, and Jacques Santer. Consider how people have been made redundant and end up not having any options, yet these people have a shielding umbrella that allows for the return to high yielding governmental incomes.

There is a lot wrong in several ways in all this and it makes me growl (in a rabid way mind you), even as we realise when we try to tackle inequality, we need to take heed from the entire FIFA matter in more than one way and these failings have been ignored (as far as I can tell) by this so called ‘bold new blueprint‘, the stage of mismanagement issues, non-transparency (especially in the ECB) and a whole range of options not cleared before they all start looking for ways to tax more and keep one of the most inefficient logistic systems in the history of the world (as I personally see it) in place. You cannot win more by charging more, not until you fixed your internal accountancy department, should you doubt that, look at Tesco and the Danske Bank and Deutsche Bank, with the acclaimed €200bn dirty money scandal, especially as this is commented on with: “it remains to be seen if any individuals will face justice for the biggest money-laundering scandal in EU history” by the EU Observer (November 29th).

Taxing the rich? Rickety Pickety, you have much larger issues to address before you should be allowed to make a play for those who worked hard towards their homes and retirement, as in the end, that is wwhere this invoice ends up as I personally see it.

Have a great Monday!

 

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