Tag Archives: Fox News

Into the fire we walk ourselves

Are we in a state where we cannot tell what actually matters? That is the question that I wonder upon. Now, we all have different states of focus, that has always been a given. Some are linked to what we desire, some to what we fear. The issue goes beyond that as the media fuels one or the other, yet they seem to do so for the direct intent of making us look where they want us to look. In Australia there are the morning shows with Channel 7 and 9. In the UK there is the breakfast show and other nations have similar views. It is when we see BBC News, the Dutch NOS, Swedish RTL as well as ABC in Australia. They tend to focus on actual news, yet often very national as one could accept. On a larger scale there is BBC World News, Al Jazeera (to some extent), whilst Fox News and CNN are no longer quality players. So where are we getting the news from, the news that matters? It seems that either we start looking for it or we lose out.

Should I care?

It is the question many might ask themselves, which is fair enough. For many we all have national needs, we have national questions and as those are satisfied we do not look further than that. Many have this setting. Some don’t even have the national curiosity and that is fine, it is whatever you choose. Yet, I have travelled for too long, to too many places. So I tend to look further. I still miss the life I had in Sweden, which like Australia is an amazing place to be in (the weather is less warm though). So when I got confronted with some news, I wondered how others saw it. What is interesting is that none of them gave any clear levels of attention to it.

The news, (at http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/01/11/Saudi-Arabia-intercepts-a-ballistic-missile-launched-by-Houthis-at-Najran.html) gives part of what does require attention. Al Jazeera covered it, so did Reuters and BBC as well as Australia’s ABC looked at it, yet the rest? You see, the issue is larger than you think. In Yemen, in the Najran area a ballistic missile was intercepted. Now this is not that big a story, but the missile might have been ready to be fired on Riyadh, like the missile fired a month ago. Is this coming into focus? Missiles that are fired on the civilian population of the capital of Saudi Arabia! This is a threshold that should have been regarded as unacceptable; it is globally ignored by others. In that same setting we see the mention from Al Arabia that Houthi leader Saleh al-Samad is also threatening to threaten international navigation in the Red Sea, which will impact the Suez Canal, which in turn changes the profit margins for all cargo bound to Europe for the most from Asia. So is it now more important? That is the dangerous question but not the most important one. You see, as the Houthi militias have gained access to the Qaher M2 missile, the game is no longer the same. These cuddly little toys pack a punch and have the ability to reap plenty of souls in Riyadh if it hits the right structure. A tactic that has been old and condemned for the longest of times, yet for the most, the west tends to focus on Yemen and cholera (which is really bad too). Over the last year 50,000 children died of disease and starvation, which is of course its own atrocity, no one denies that, yet what was the foundation? President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was trying to get some level of union in Yemen between factions (which is an achievement) in a landscape that was under threat by Houthi militias and AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula). Things went from bad to worse and soon thereafter the deposed Yemen leader started to undo what happened from Saudi Arabia.

Now, I have skipped a few iterations, mainly because it is not part of the issue. The issue is the missiles. Now I am not stating that the Saudi’s are beyond some blame. Civilians have been hit in Yemen; yet is that from intentional events? Are they (as stated by the Saudi government) ‘technical mistakes‘? The fact is that there is a civil war going on and EVERY civil war in history came with civilian casualties, more often than not from human or technical error. The Houthi events are different as they are intentionally targeting a civilian population in Riyadh and are also intentionally targeting all commercial options that use the Red Sea as a route to get to where they have always been travelling. The Houthi’s are in a desperate setting, one that they themselves created and in this regard, we see very little coverage, too little in fact, mainly because this is a powder keg waiting to go wrong. If even one missile hits Saudi Arabia, the lives of every Yemeni could be regarded as forfeit. The Saudi population would demand reprisals unlike any we have seen for decades and in this the Saudi pride will not be content with mere diplomatic discussions, at that point serious skin is in the game and if the world is lucky only 100,000 will die of starvation and disease in 2018. The Syrian war has led to 400,000 casualties in 2012-2016, this Houthi insurrection could spell a lot more and the dangers are that the extremists tend to get profit out of such situations. In fact here is no evidence that they are not already dipping their toes in the Yemeni armouries and as such there would be a dangerous escalation if some of these weapons get transported to other extremist zones. Now, I am trying to steer clear of the Iranian-Houthi rebel links. The issue is that I did not read or inspect the evidence. Also, we should consider that the US has had tainted glasses for the longest of times regarding Iran and they have lost massive credibility ever since the Saddam Hussein WMD presentation. In this U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell with his silver briefcase destroyed credibility for decades to come. In this Colonel Turki al-Maliki has a much easier job. The evidence that the Houthi rebels are firing missiles on the Saudi civilian population has been clearly established on an international level.

So into the fire we might go!

You see, this keg needs one missile to hit target and the flames start. If any other nation can verify that Iran was involved, Iran will have no options left because at that point it is not impossible that Israel will get the keys to the German and French Squadrons to use those planes for bombing Iran as well, at that point WW3 will be a factual situation. The Saudi air force will not only get the blessing of the Arabian league nations to stop Iran, it will get its ammunition at cost price from several sides. At that point, Hamas and Hezbollah will go into hiding so deep that we will forget that they exist, but Israel will not. Perhaps it might be a good thing, as the extremist groups are dealt with, those who think that extremism is a good thing will decide to hide and wait for the fires to stop. Only at that point will they realise that as Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and AQAP are gone that all eyes will move on them. You see these people feel good as extremists because no one is taking notice, when they become the limelight, they will ‘suddenly’ prefer a diplomatic path, one where they have no valid claims and no standing whatsoever.

It is an optional resolution to a bad situation for all other players.

And there is a second side to all this that I have not seen any publications on. The Burkan-2 which was fired at Riyadh airport is also an issue in another direction. It is related to the Scud, it comes from Yemen. So when we consider that the first recorded launch was on 22nd July 2017, how did the Houthi’s get this knowledge? This is not something you put in a clip. You need a mobile launch platform, aiming skills, ballistic knowledge that does not come with a bottle of mineral water. These skills are taught and trained. Someone gave them access and I feel strongly that these skills were not all in Yemen. There is a taskmaster, a coach in that equation and it seems to me that this is also the Houthi militants Achilles heel, because if these skilled are dealt with (the people who have them), that this weapon gets to be diminished to an ugly truck with a couple of steel cigars on top.

 

 

 

 

So when we see militia rebels, we do not think ‘academics’, we tend to think that they are more likely to be members of the ‘dyslexic-R-us‘ foundation (عسر القراءة، هي، لنا), not the qualified electronic user experts that they need to be, so someone is getting them trained. The fact that these missiles were completed after the insurrection began is equally a worry. With the economy in the basement as the one in Yemen is supposed to be, someone is fuelling funds and knowledge to these militants and when did you see any reliable news on that level?

So we are thrust into the fire in some method where we are left unaware on how large some issues have become and for anyone thinking it is not on their turf.

 

 

Think again!

Because those elements with those level of skills will go where ever the money is taking them. In WW2 Russia and the US saw that and took the scientists as quickly as possible. Now we seem to skip that part and as we see extremist move from theatre to theatre there will be a shift of activity as the skill levels are placed in other places where the going was slow, they become catalysts of additional escalations. We can argue whether Iran is playing that card or not, but there is a longer term danger and the people are left unaware of those events. I think that this is the second danger that both Saudi Arabia and Israel face. Not on who is attacking them, but on the realisation that it is happening whilst these extremists have been given additional skill levels, some they would never have had. That evidence can be seen when we consider the Hamas rockets, or as it goes the ISIS players who replaced Hamas in Gaza. When the missile hit rate goes from 0.2% to 2%, there will be a much larger escalation, as well as the additional danger that the people in the state of Israel will face. As the knowledge gets deeper into Syria, what will happen after that? Will Iran be shown to be the player behind the screen or will Saudi Arabia merely face 3-4 additional factions, who when much better trained become a much larger issue for Saudi Arabia. There is a much larger game in play and the fact that the people are left in the dark to a much larger degree is a much bigger issue than you (and I) think it is. It is still the beginning of 2018 and already we see: “Thirteen attack drones were launched against the Khmeimim air base and a naval facility in the city of Tartus on Syria’s western coast, the Russian defence ministry said“, so who was behind that? “the ballistic missile attack by Houthi militia on the city of Najran” is one we looked at as well as “The Syrian Arab Army has discovered another massive Islamic State weapons stockpile that was abandoned by the terrorist group“, the last mention was merely shoulder based rocket launchers (M72 LAW, RPG). Now the learning curve of that one is low. The instructions are on the launcher and as it is used by the US infantry, it should be regarded as close to idiot proof, yet we also see the alleged M72 Dragon in Syria as well as the FGM-148 Javelin, which was in ISIS hands in late 2017. Now we do not know how those were acquired, but the M47 Dragon and the Javelin are a lot more sophisticated and not for anyone to easily wield. The Javelin requires a launch unit and training. This is not something you get included in a ten step leaflet with a package of butter.

So we step into the fire unknowing that someone is fuelling the fire by keeping too many of us uninformed. Now from an intelligence point of view I have no issues with that part. It happens, but the fact that the media is not asking certain questions is a much bigger issue. The fact that most nations are loudly condemning the missile attack on Riyadh makes sense, yet the fact on how the skill levels were handed to the Houthi’s remains unanswered.

I wonder if the most interested party in this (Al Arabiya) will soon be asking this question out loud, more important. If the Saudi Defence Forces are successful in taking out the coaching element, would that suddenly largely cripple Houthi elements and if they were supported by Iran, would that push them into the limelight?

All questions, all speculation!

The question that becomes evident is how within these extremist elements their balance of power is maintained? You see, extremists have logistical needs that part is clearly seen in Yemen. Yet, who provides their needs and what is in it for them? The usual culprit is money, lots and lots of money. Yet it also gives power to the one providing the victor. That part is not seen too often. Most often we think of those are mere weapon merchants, dealers of the tools of death, but the fact that the cost of billions in 2 years, that is without the UN relief needs close to a billion is not taken into consideration. If we have learned anything than it is that plenty will forsake loads for a few million, so what are they willing to do for a few billion? Can you even imagine that, or the fact that the pool of those who gets access to that pool of funds is actually quite small and the media remains in the mindset of not informing any of us!

Should they?

That is a good question, because if the media is about the news, should we limit to the amount of news that we should be exposed to? For the most people in Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia might not be too eager to learn about it, but the impact that we are currently facing hits these places too, was not informing us the right thing to do?

Consider that we are impacted by the red sea and that the cost of living would increase by 20% if the Suez Canal becomes unavailable, does it matter then? Suddenly the preface changes and suddenly the Houthi actions are more important than we considered. At this point the media might change its position on the air time and what to focus on, perhaps not.

Time will tell!

Yet I feel that there are other sides and we are all kept in the dark, so where are these journalists? Well, if we can believe the Sun, they were all mesmerised by the tits of Kim Kardashian, the same day Houthi Missiles were fired. Which of the two ‘news’ articles do you remember of that day?

 

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Hospitality starts with hospital

There is no way around it, United Airlines has found a new way to get mentioned on every social media at the same time. The article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/united-airlines-passenger-beaten-flight-chicago-airport-apologise-newunitedairlinesmottos-trump-a7678296.html) gives us a first view on how the people are perceiving United Airlines. The headline ‘United Airlines hasn’t even bothered apologising to the passenger beaten on its flight‘ gives us the goods. The article goes into a few elements, although I am not entirely in agreement with: “this blood-soaked guy who simply wanted to go home and get to work the next day could have been any one of us“, I will at least admit that it is not entirely incorrect.

My issue is not initially with the act as such, it is with the utter stupidity of removing someone who had boarded without a proper reason. Consider that people check into flights, they get their luggage through, get past all the check and end up with a boarding pass. At that precise moment, that seat is taken! So basically up to an hour before the flight, this issue could and should have been clear, and this level of stupidity has consequences. Market watch reported ‘United’s stock falls 1.1%, wipes out $255 million off the airline’s market cap‘, which seems a little much so that one additional staff member could get on that flight. The quote “If you’ve flown anywhere in the last 10 years, you’ve definitely been on an overbooked plane. You might have even been offered a few hundred quid to skip your flight in order to make room for travelling airline staff” gives a fair view of what happens at time. In my case it was a first class passenger who had to get on the flight I was one and we were offered 600 euro’s and a free upgrade to get the next flight. I was not in the market, but someone took this offer. That is the easy option for the airline. In this case there was no option and someone got dragged off. As I would see it, a logistical screw up that gave a market dive of $255 million and that is not all. There is a solid chance that this doctor can sue the airline and the security detail that dragged him off costing the airline several million more. You see this is not a case of wrongful acting by the passenger. The passenger had checked in, went through all the screenings that happen and passed all the requirements. The passenger was given a boarding pass and was allowed to board the plane, it is at this point that the airline is screwed (as I personally see it). At this point it becomes an institutional failure of an airline to properly conduct its business. The excuse of a press conference where we see CEO Oscar Munoz calling the incident a ‘system failure’ and says staff could have solved it with ‘common sense’ is not a clear answer. The additional statement “proper tools, policies, procedures that allow them to use common sense” sounds like a joke to me. Common sense should be on the forefront of all this. The mere logistical part that the boarding procedure was not tattooed on the supervisors’ brainstem is not a medical requirement, but it might have saved them a quarter of a billion write down. I will give him that he took the blame towards himself, but in the end this failure went past the head of the hospitality crew, the pilot and captain of the flight and the security detail. Three levels that did not ask the questions that should have been asked before this disaster took shape. The fact that this was because of a needed seat for a staff member makes the disaster complete and a lot bigger too.

Now, there was also a mention that ‘aviation experts have said the company acted legally‘, is that so? You see, the contract of carriage of United Airlines: “If a flight is oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his/her will until UA or other carrier personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservations willingly in exchange for compensation as determined by UA. If there are not enough volunteers, other Passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UA’s boarding priority“, here is the kicker: ‘may be denied boarding involuntarily‘, this was not the case, the man had already boarded and had boarded validly with a valid boarding pass. This is the part that will get United Airlines in hot water!

The other part that I do not get is the issue for one steward(ess), what was the beef here? There are close to 50 flights a day going from Chicago to St. Louis, so unless it was about a directly connecting flight, or better stated, even then, there would have been logistical solutions available. All this (I admit speculated) seems to reflect the opposite of what Oscar Munoz claims, mainly that the bulk of staff and support groups in Chicago airport were pretty much all devoid of common sense. So, from that point of view, no policy or protocol would have saved United Airlines the disaster it was heading to at full speed.

The part I disagree with in the article is that this is not about a Trump America, this is not about “This sort of stuff is becoming so commonplace that it’s difficult to feign surprise or disgust anymore. It’s become completely entangled in America’s psyche, and no one seems to care“, this was a collective act of utter stupidity, not a common sensing brain cell around to stop this from escalating. I would argue that this is linked to “A profit-driven airline company wanted to make room for employees, and so private security staff were more or less given the green light to beat somebody up to make it happen“, yet in this I am not sure if the second part on the private security side would be correct, yet as they dragged the valid passenger off the plane, questions will need to be asked with their superiors and the clarity of what had transpired will need to be scrutinised, because they too will feel the blows of what happened, I feel certain that the United Airlines legal team will be looking under every pebble to see where the costs, losses and blame could be placed.

The interesting side is that this is not the first time, the same week saw an issue with the president of an investment firm flying back from Hawaii, as well as an issue with two teenage female passengers wearing leggings, yet in that case there are a few issues that give optional valid defence of United Airlines as these were ‘pass travellers‘, where the passengers have to comply with company policy as they are in fact free staff flights.

There is no denying that the United Airlines will suffer a while longer as the social media is pushing and pulling the quotes in all directions to let viral reign continue, which is equally not fair on United Airlines, yet that is the world we live in nowadays. The fact that we now see surging stories of UA overbooked flights, with people getting send-off going all the way back to 2015. Then it was Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller who lost his seat. These stories seem a waste of time and I would agree immediately, yet the effect is that for the next few months, people will initially book with whomever has a flight not named United Airlines, which stops the overbooking danger, yet in equal measure it will drive forecasting down by a fair bit, so this disaster could cost United Airlines a lot more than the quarter of a billion cap loss. How much is not clear and I reckon no speculation will be on the mark, no matter how good you know this industry. Whenever social media goes viral on several paths, all bets are off, United Airlines is experiencing this effect in person.

To finish this off, we also see another side of social media. It is Fox News who reports (at http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/04/12/twitter-accused-deleting-tweets-slamming-united-airlines.html) the issue that allegedly, Twitter has been deleting tweets on United. The quote: “One user, @Jay_Beecher, says that a number of his United-related tweets were deleted, including one poking fun at the airline over the now-notorious incident. “Within seconds of tweeting I noticed that my tweet had disappeared,” he told Fox News. “After rewriting the same tweet numerous more times, I began to suspect that Twitter was censoring/automatically deleting any slightly critical tweets which contained an @United tag.”” gives us that at times Twitter seems to be doing whatever seems to please those with a vested interest. This is now also becoming an issue on cases where Twitter did not intervene, giving additional strength that Twitter has certain options, yet refuses to use them. This is not even close to the end for Unites Airlines as we see: “The airline kicked off the #UnitedJourney campaign last week in an attempt to get passengers to share their travel photos. Instead, the hashtag is being used to slam the airline and share memes related to Sunday’s now-notorious incident.

There is currently no end to this viral motion as we still see the News act on events nearly a week old, with the latest news merely three hours ago, as such it seems clear that Mr Munoz has his work cut out for him. The rehashed news regarding “United customer Geoff Fearns, who told Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus on Tuesday that United threatened to put him in handcuffs last week if he didn’t surrender his first-class seat to a “higher priority” passenger” gives rise on more issues, the most prominent being the one where United Airlines needs to seriously redefine what a high priority passenger is, especially when such a person makes ‘demands‘ on his last minute booking, whilst seemingly not being able to time manage his travel needs. It is my personal view that any company that facilitates to the arrogant and possibly loud mouthed will see their value decrease in ways that was not even close to the value of the ticket sold. It is a lesson they might learn from, but as this situation is created in America, I highly doubt it.

 

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The Dangerous Zuckerberg Classification

Even as Microsoft seems to be quiet and in denial of what is uploaded without consent, we have a second issue that is floating to the surface of our life. Now, first of all, this link is not what we should consider a news site. What came from Forward.com is also known as The Jewish Daily Forward, published by Samuel Norich and has Jane Eisner as the editor. Its origins goes back to 1897, so it has been around for a while. They are not some new wannabe-on-the-block. It is an American newspaper published in New York City for a Jewish-American audience, and there are plenty of those around, so this is a valid niche publication. Yet no more than a day ago, it did something dangerous, perhaps unintentional and perhaps it is a sign of the times, but it remains a dangerous path to take.

This path all started when Mark Zuckerberg had an idea. He created this place called Facebook, you might have heard of it. Within there we get to ‘like’ things. Now, we can do this to complement the poster, we can do this because the subject interests us, or when we use the machine correctly, Facebook would send us more stuff from topics that we like. This already shows three different approaches to ‘like’ and when Forward starts the article with: “Canadian Mosque Shooter Suspect ‘Liked’ Israel Defense Forces, Marine LePen“, it basically shot itself in the foot.

This is part of the problems we are all facing, because the world is changing and it has shifted the values that we have given words over time and shifted them into concepts of what it might be. We see the same shift in the Business Intelligence industry as tools like SPSS (read: IBM Statistics) are no longer used to get the significant statistics needed and the ‘sellers’ of the story that the client wants told rely on tools like Q Software to tell the story that matches the need. The problem is that this story reflects what is offered and from that there is more than one identifier (weight being one) that the reflection is less accurate and often warped to fit the need of the receiver of these data files. Meaning that the actual meaning unlikely to be there, making a correct assessment not possible and any action based upon it, without scrutiny will come at a hefty price for the decision makers down the track.

So when we see “Canadian Mosque Shooter Suspect ‘Liked’ Israel Defense Forces, Marine LePen” we need to be cautious at best, at worst we are being told a fair bit of rubbish! Now we also get “Authorities claim that Alexander Bissonnette, a student at the city’s Laval University, perpetrated the attack, calling in from a bridge near the mosque to report himself“, which could be very true, but it also averts the first signs we see of ‘Lone Wolf‘, because a real lone wolf will go into the night if he or she is lucky without a trace and plans his/her next attack. This one attack person seems to be seeking the limelight as I personally see it. For what reason is at present unknown. Perhaps it is about fame, perhaps the evidence will find evidence of mental health issues. Time and the proper people will need to assess this. We see this in the picture of a tweet by @Rita_Katz when she states ‘making Jihadi ties unlikely‘, which could be true, however I got there via another route. What is interesting is that when we look at the Toronto Star we see “Rosalie Bussieres, 23, lives across the street. She told the Star her older brother was in school with Bissonnette. He was “very solitary” and “very antisocial,” said Bussieres. Bissonnette studied at the Université Laval, according to a statement released by the university late Monday. He was a student in the department of political science and anthropology, according to Jean-Claude Dufour, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences

This is interesting as those in political science tend to be decently social minded, so there is a lot more under the water than we think there is and the fact that Forward only gave us the likes, means that there is a part that they either ignored or overlooked. You see, what else did his Facebook account have to say?

The Toronto Star gives us a lot more “He was on both the Sainte-Foy and Université Laval chess club“, with Forward we got more on Rita Katz. “Rita Katz is the Executive Director and founder of the SITE Intelligence Group” is one, and the next part is the one we should consider: “the world’s leading non-governmental counterterrorism organization“, as well as “Ms. Katz has tracked and analyzed global terrorism and jihadi networks for nearly two decades, and is well-recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and reliable experts in the field“. Which makes me wonder why it is the Toronto Star who gives us the part I did not initially showed “with his twin brother, said Université Laval professor Jean Sévigny, who said he knew Bissonnette and his brother through the club“. So how come The Forward didn’t have the goods on that?

Yet they did give us “François Deschamps, member of Quebec’s Refugee Welcome Committee, told the La Presse newspaper that he recognized Bissonette because the man had often left hateful comments on the group’s page. “I flipped when I saw him,” he said. “We observe much of what the extreme right says and does. He’s made statements of that sort on our Facebook page. He also attacked women’s rights,” Deschamps recalled“. The full story is at http://forward.com/news/361614/canadian-mosque-shooter-suspect-liked-israel-defense-forces-marine-lepen/

So as we are invited to judge on likes, I see a hole of intelligence. How many friends? How many clubs? Was he linked to Chess groups? Was he linked to his Twin Brother, and was his twin brother on Facebook? There is no one mentioning whether the twin brother was reached and what he had to say (if he had been willing to talk), which he might not be willing to do and that is perfectly understandable. It is just such a weird experience to see a total lack of effort in that regard (especially by the press).

Forward is telling its readers a story, yet the Toronto Star (at https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/01/30/six-dead-two-arrested-after-shooting-at-quebec-city-mosque.html) seems to offer a lot more. In that view ABC news in Australia blunders (as I personally see it) even more when we see (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-31/quebec-city-mosque-shooting-lone-wolf-attack-student-charged/8225294), ‘Police charge ‘lone wolf’ student suspected of terrorist attack‘, so what evidence is there? What is the definition of a Lone Wolf? Perhaps we need to agree on the shifting sands and make sure it is sand and not quicksand. They both might contain the same 4 letters, but the experience will be mind-bogglingly different.

So as we now see that the US is using this attack to justify its actions, we need to take heed on the dangers we invite. The first is like the attack in Sydney, Australia at Martin Place, on December 15-16 2014. We again see a link to extremism that is incorrect and misleading. Yes, the act was extreme, but we have seen for decades on how mental health patients are very able to act in extreme ways. You only need to see the footage from Paris attacks to see how actions in places like Nairobi and Paris to clearly see that they are different from events in places like Martin Place and perhaps the Quebec Mosque.

We can argue on how correct the FBI setting is, yet it is an important one! “Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives“. So what were the social and political objectives of Alexander Bissonnette?

There is a lot we don’t know and won’t know. Yet at present Forward is presenting the dangers that social media rely on, they rely on quick and classifiable actions and label them in the most general way possible. The dangers that we see in the Zuckerberg classification is that it relies on the quick acceptance of the ‘audience’ yet in the same way the danger is that the ‘like’ itself becomes a problem. You see, too many elements are about specifics and as we see less and less, we see that people in general will start to rely on an aggregation of ‘reportable elements’, not even on an aggregation of facts.

Heavy.com, another place that is not really a news site gives us a whole range of additional ‘facts’. They refer to Reuters, who reported (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-mosque-shooting-idUSKBN15E04S), where we get “Initially, the mosque president said five people were killed and a witness said up to three gunmen had fired on about 40 people inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre. Police said only two people were involved in the attack“, in that part the Lone Wolf no longer applies and it is either ‘lone Wolves’ or something else. Forward however gave us “Police investigating the shooting at a Quebec mosque that killed six have narrowed down their list of suspects to one man” Yet 5 hours after the initial message Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-mosque-shooting-toll-idUSKBN15E0F6) gives us “Police declined to discuss possible motives for the shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec. They consider this a lone wolf situation,” a Canadian source familiar with the situation said“, which is a statement that should be under some scrutiny to say the least.

All this links to an event one year ago, which was covered in the Tech Times, where we see ‘Sheryl Sandberg Sees Facebook Likes As Powerful Weapon Against ISIS, Other Extremists‘ with the quote “Rather than scream and protest, they got 100,000 people to Like the page, who did not Like the page and put messages of tolerance on the page, so when you got to the page, it changed the content and what was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope“. This is now a linked issue. You see the part ‘they got 100,000 people to Like the page, who did not Like the page‘, this implies that data was intervened with, so if that is happening, how reliable was the ‘like’ part in Forward.com?

The fact that papers all over the place are trying to ‘cash’ in on this by adding a page with ‘the latest facts‘ or ‘what we know at present‘, like The Globe and Mail, whilst showing an avalanche of news on the matter. Actually, the page The Globe and Mail brought was pretty good. It is Heavy.com who does something similar, yet at that point they move into the ‘5 things you need to know‘ mode and give us a stream of links. Links to classmates and how they thought. Yet, are these facts correct and complete? Heavy links to the Globe and Mail, and in addition gives us the part we needed to hear: “He also likes U.S. Senator John McCain, a moderate Republican who has opposed Trump on some issues, President George W. Bush, the Canadian New Democratic Party and late Canadian politician Jack Layton, who was a leader of the left-wing NDP, so the likes do not shed much light on Bissonnette’s beliefs“, Forward.com, and as such linked SITE Intelligence Group had nothing on any of that in the article. So anyone relying on Forward is now missing out of essential facts. In equal measure, the fact that many of these items are not voiced by other papers make the statements of Heavy.com equally an issue until confirmed.

And finally there is the impact of how the like was obtained. Plenty of sources started with a few ‘like to win’ campaigns. How many people have clicked on a like and forgot about doing so? Yet in this light, the ‘like’ is implied to have a much larger impact, much larger than the user considers or even comprehends. The places using those likes for telling a story have left that concept behind, giving us unclean and incorrect data, which now implies that any conclusion based on it is pretty much useless.

Be aware, I am not stating, or accusing these posters of fake news, yet there is the option that some will see it as such. As I stated at the beginning regarding Forward.com, their origin goes back to 1897, which means that they have been around for some time. So why were so many facts missed and why did Forward link this suspect to both the Israel Defense Forces and Marine LePen, especially in light of what others reported?

What is not related to the Facebook side is the news that the initial news of two shooters (up to three) is now reduced to just the one. When a witness states up to three, there is a clarity to assume (to some degree) that there was more than one shooter (which is a speculation from my side). So what happened to the second one? Just be aware that there might just have been one shooter, yet the documentation we are seeing implies more than one.

So how is this a Zuckerberg thing?

Well, apart from him inventing Facebook and bringing about the evolution of Social media, his ‘like’ is almost like his ‘poke’, they are Social media tools, yet the value the users tend to give it is different, it is even debatable whether the users at large could ever agree on the usage of it, making it a transient value. A shifted number whilst the contemplators cannot agree how the value is to be used, so the usage of ‘like’ in the way it was used in by the press becomes a debate as well. Because what we like implies where we are. That is not a given, even better it is incomplete. You see, you can state your like, but as you cannot state a dislike, we end up having no real comparison. It is the old debate of Yes and No dichotomies, if you did not say ‘yes’, there is no validity that you stated ‘no’, because it might have been overlooked, or it was the fourth option in a list of three. There is a decent abundance of reasons to take that point of view.

fox_poll

Let me show this in another way. The Fox poll of the Refugee Ban (see image). We see the full story at http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/01/29/poll-nearly-half-america-voters-support-trumps-immigration-order, but what we do not see are the specifics on what would have given this value. You see, we do not know the number of responses, where it was done and when it was done. It is at https://poll.qu.edu/ that we learn parts of the facts, “From January 5 – 9, Quinnipiac University surveyed 899 voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points“, can anyone explain to me how Fox was so stupid to use a base of 899 to set a national value? Doesn’t the United States have around 320 million people? And as we realise that there 50 states, how can 18 people be significant on a view in state, and this is before we consider whether the use of gender was normalised, because men and women tend to feel different on emotional issues and is there is one element in abundance on issues concerning refugees it will be emotion.

 

So in all this, we see recurring waves of generalisation and trivialisation. Mark Zuckerberg is not to blame, but he is a factor. In addition there is an overwhelming lack in educating its customer base (by both Fox and Facebook), so we need to consider the dangers and well as the irrelevance of these ‘revelations‘. It is in this scope and in the application as seen used where classification becomes dangerous and a danger, because how will the people around a person react when they see that this person likes something people find offensive (and that is when we keep it to simple things like actors, actresses and politicians)? This will impact on the like as there will be peer pressure, so how can this Zuckerberg element be undermined? That is the actual question!

Is it as simple as condemning the press for using the fact? Is it as simple as giving out complete information? The Zuckerberg Classifications are here to stay, there is nothing against it and the fact that they are is in no way negative, but the usage of it leaves a lot to be desired and as such it is a misleading one, other than ‘this person clicked on the like button of this page, for reasons unknown’, giving it any more value is as meaningless as setting the national acceptance of a refugee ban based on 899 unquantifiable votes which represents at best 0.00028% of the United States population. If any vote was incorrectly vetted, the number will go down fast making the poll even more useless.

 

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The not so neutral net

This time, it was the Epic Times (at http://www.epictimes.com/2015/02/how-do-you-feel-about-net-neutrality/), who gave me the goods). To be honest, I have stayed away from Net Neutrality for several reasons. The first one is, because for now I remain on the fence. Reasoning here is that we are not really ready for Net Neutrality.

On one side, the US starting this works out nice for the Commonwealth (mainly Canada), there is a decent chance that some companies will move to speedier shores. But, let me get ahead of it all, because that might help the entire issue. So here is the initial response I gave:

There is an overwhelming need to be against it. Judgement was not correctly passed here. I do not essentially oppose net neutrality, however, that can only occur if the internet is correctly addressed, which it is not.

You see, people think that they are now better off, but they will be contending for the same bandwidth with a few thousand spammers, who use an equal bandwidth to a few million users. By forcing all in equal opportunity, spammers, and marketeers. We see that in this ‘ruling’ “Broadband providers cannot block or speed up connections for a fee”, so your fee to block is now no longer an option, which might mean that you get to drown in spam. In equal measure, you cannot pay extra to speed up, which is not unfair, but when corporations are no longer given the speed, they will move to other shores, so if places like Equinix (to name but one of many) will move to Canadian shores, feel free to thank those for net neutrality for giving a few thousand jobs to your northern neighbours. A data centre is about revenue, and net neutrality is not evil, but it has setbacks, revenue being one of them.

the next part is in “Internet providers cannot strike deals with content firms, known as paid prioritisation, for smoother delivery of traffic to consumers”, so this will inflict massive damage, which means that high pressure connections like Oracle forms will not get a whole new issue, working from home could be impacted in new not so nice ways.

Yet the one part “The FCC won’t apply some sections of the new rules, including price controls”, which than implies that all people will end up paying for bandwidth, there we see the connection to rule one and rule two, if fees cannot be used for speeding up, and prioritization, we could speculate that there is one price, a business price for all, I feel certain that the Facebook family and Google Plus family will just love the new pricing for staying in the loop on a social media level, for if there is no priority control and no speed control, the only price control is one price, and it will be a charged one.

And this is only one side of it, net neutrality will never work when the people cannot be correctly protected from cyberbullies, cybercriminals and cyber hackers, for the mere reason that under these conditions, monitoring will become a lot harder, you see those special accounts also meant that they needed less monitoring, because the origin is known, which is why I personally opposed the view of the White house. They stated “Our pursuit of cybersecurity will not — I repeat, will not include — monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic”, how? Consider yourself in the street, walking, the police is looking for a wanted criminal, now consider where you walk and EVERYONE is wearing exactly the same outfit, do you really think the police will have an easier time finding the culprit? Of course not, now they need to scan every person they pass, not just the person they were looking for in a Green Armani suit wearing purple loafers’ size 12. Good luck finding the right person.

There is a positive issue to net neutrality, there is no denying that, but until they have a way to find the extreme abusers of the net, the neutrality step will make it a lot harder, not easier.

So, you might disagree with me, which is always fair enough, so let’s get the ball rolling on a few parts, because, I have support, I am not the only one here.

They are the first example to use. The BBC (which does not stand for ‘British But Conservative’, at http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31638528), had the following part: “”The internet is built on infrastructure. Even to keep at a steady state providers are going to have to invest in infrastructure but they need certainty that they can get a return on their investments,” said Mr Belcher” which is fair enough, however, if business is no longer investing as they do not get a premium speed, what do you think they will do, stay in the US, or move to Mejico where they revere speed, Ariba Ariba Andale Andale! And when business moves off-shore, where will your cheap provider remain? It will not, it will be pushed out of business fast, or people will have to pay an actual amount.

The next one we get from the Wall Street Journal (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/broadband-investors-should-wake-up-to-net-neutrality-heard-on-the-street-1424975993), here we see “The long-term bull case for cable relies on two main factors: The ability to grow market share of residential broadband and the ability to raise prices. The latter rests on the idea that broadband providers’ pricing power will increase over time, an assumption that could be called into question if the reclassification stands“, my issue, which I do no applaud is the premise on ‘the ability to raise prices’, it seems like a small thing, but do you think that 50.000.000 Americans will like the increase due to the loss of business as they find safer shores? Business relies on visibility, which means speed and priority, when those fall away, that loss must be paid for. There is no way to tell how much more, but it seems to me that an additional $5-$10 per week is not outside the realm of reality, did these net neutrality people figure on that part? I have called big business exploitative on more than one occasion, the other side is that their power was the speed at which they could move, take that away and you get the same need for exploitation, but from a place where they feel safe, they do not feel that in any neutral version of the net.

It is tech liberation that gives us another view on the dangers, issues that I did not completely consider. Not because I disagree, or because it is incorrect, but there is a hint of conspiracy theory here and I am not sure if that ride is one you should focus on, but I will not withhold it (at http://techliberation.com/2014/09/26/net-neutrality-and-the-dangers-of-title-ii/). It is not a new piece, it was written in September 2014, which gives us “As I’ve noted before, prioritized data can provide consumer benefits and stringent net neutrality rules would harm the development of new services on the horizon. Title II–in making the Internet more “neutral”–is anti-progress and is akin to putting the toothpaste back in the tube. The Internet has never been neutral, as computer scientist David Clark and others point out, and it’s getting less neutral all the time. VoIP phone service is already prioritized for millions of households. VoLTE will do the same for wireless phone customers“, you see, streaming services, bandwidth requiring services like Oracle Forms (one of many) are all about the proper priority. When that falls away, we get black-outs in data, which makes a system fall over, yet here we see another side, which seems to agree with the FCC. Most companies have VOIP, not an issue there. But VoLTE is another matter, Voice over LTE must be a monitoring nightmare to some. I am not talking about the intelligence branch (it worries them too), but about the Telco’s. Once we get free Wi-Fi AND free VoLTE, what will telecom companies be left with? When all your calls go across a simple Wi-Fi the game changes, I would think that roaming over free Wi-Fi using VoLTE is the best thing and traveling sales executive will ever face, now consider the Telecom companies with no more Roaming revenue, can you see the pain they would feel? So even if it is a valid view, is it a correct one? You see, I do not know, but I have seen Telco’s sweat blood because of the fear of denied ‘easy peasy revenue’, so there is my view in those matters.

The one missing part is where I wrote in regard to the cyber-illegality actions. In my view, Cyber-crime is hard to solve, most often it does not get solved, because the seekers were too late. Now consider that group and consider the additional delay because the hunters did not have to look in certain places, now that this part is gone, they will have to look everywhere, how will that help solve crimes? I now get back to a quote Fox News had: “No one disagrees that the Internet should be free and open. The president’s plan just does not accomplish that goal“. I agree with this, I will take it one step further, we all had free internet because business drive reachability and innovation (for reasons of greed mind you), when that drive is removed, it becomes a service for all (which is fine), but one that ALL have to pay for, so how did that oblige towards the goal of ‘free internet’? This will drive the need for stronger regulations in regards to ‘fairness’, which will than remove the term ‘open internet’ as well.

I am not against Net Neutrality, but until it is a global thing, which is actually globally ‘enforced’ (read accepted), Net Neutrality will only achieve in driving business to a place called elsewhere.

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I miss the cold war

It is a line from a movie, yet at times that is how I feel. Most of the elderly who served will likely feel the same. We had a common goal and a common enemy. We ‘feared’ the values that would be given to us by the Iron curtain. Then something happened, they seemingly went bankrupt. Not unlike India, Russia now has the fastest growing numbers of billionaires on the planet. Yet, the numbers do not add up. This relates to what happens today in Syria. No matter how the events in Syria began and I will admit, I know not when that premise there changed, but it had. The roughest of estimations would be that somewhere in September 2012 the game changed. I believe that it was before the UNHRC statements of September 28th (now exactly a year ago). Those against were China, Cuba and Russia. China seems to have been ‘sincere’ in their deliberations and Cuba did what Russia asked. Russia changed the game. In their minds this would be the beginning of a new cold war. There is one massive difference. This time we would likely lose!

The factors involved are a nothing less than an incompetent American administration. As the banking issues had hit them, their inability to solve or reacquire anything, with in addition two very expansive and expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had depleted the American coffers to less than nothing. When two parties are not in agreement, then the winner hits when the other party is down for the count, words spoken before by several parties and ignored or silenced by greed driven parties. Edward Snowden was not part of this in any way. I think this is the one lucky break both Russia and China never expected to see. You see, there are ripples connected to that. If the NSA has breaches to this extent, there would be a chance or even nothing less than likely that GCHQ (UK) might have similar flaws. Unlike their building, the donut, which has a hole in the middle, they will have a hole somewhere. If it does exist, then it is in the technology and not likely in the people they have. I reckon that I count myself to that cause where we protect and preserve the monarchy, even if I am just an Australian. The fact is that if technology was unable to stop Snowden, then it is not unrealistic that GCHQ has similar flaws, especially as GCHQ is given a mere fraction of resources the NSA gets on an annual base.

There is supporting evidence to these thoughts. The ALLEGED hacking of the UN building might count. If the alphabet groups were aware that there are issues with any upcoming cold war, then knowing as much as possible is essential. This could have driven the events if the hacking of the UN was a fact. Why the video conferencing? It was not about getting the voice feed, which is not too hard; it is however to find and identify people through the video link(s). If there is a new cold war brewing, knowing where certain people are is an actual must. If we can believe ‘Der Spiegel’ then staff members from the NSA had been tracking their wives. Leave it to some idiotic American to use these resources to keep an eye on his wife instead of giving her the orgasms she was entitled to (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/30/nsa-spying-europe-claims-us-eu-trade)

Yet back to the Syrian chess pieces. Assad, or as he should be known now as ‘Pinocchio 2’ has been doing the things that Russia wanted them to do. Slowly moving him and whatever reasoning he has (whether valid or not), to instil the safety and security of his current position. Yet that part is actually slowly but surely being forfeit. Russia needs the UK, France and US to intervene. Consider that this intervention will drain troops and costs in excess of 200 billion Euros. After that Pinocchio’s strings can be cut, his role will have been played out. This will not be a quick step and a likely aftermath of no less than 2 additional years. That is all they need to stop economic restoration. It is all they need to ensure an upcoming advantage.

Russia has been handed a massive advantage by several parties involved.

Are we considering suspending humanitarian laws in the UK? In the UK it is Home secretary Theresa May who stated “Britain should consider leaving the European Convention on Human Rights because it interferes with the government’s ability to fight crime and control immigration, Home Secretary Theresa May said on Saturday (9 March)”. Leaving the European Convention on Human Rights does not mean that the UK is abolishing Human rights all together, yet, taking into account the dwindling support for legal aid is a clear second part of this. For Russia it will be the flag they raise to state that Western values are flawed, to be suspended when times get hard. They would be correct. Instead of stopping greed driving consumption and acquisition we enabled it for too long.

Back to Syria!

At present the game has changed. We see carefully phrased denials, the game to postpone. In addition we saw an interview with an Assad loyalist, claiming he was a victim of a chemical attack by the Syrian opposition. Did anyone notice that the video’s from the Syrian opposition were people hardly able to speak and hardly able to breath. The Syrian soldier was in a hospital looking no worse than someone going there for a broken toe. Interesting that this was not that illuminated by the journalist. The fact that one soldier seemed to be in the crossfire whilst dozens of dead civilians, children and Syrian opposing troops on the other side. Let’s call a spade a spade shall we?

The conference by Walid al-Muallim did not help the Syrian cause either. They went one step further by now implying that Israel is now a likely strike point. Now let’s disseminate their ‘statements’. From Fox news we see the statement by Mohammed Javad Zarif: “We are in close contact with the Syrian government and they have reassured us that they had never used such inhumane weapons and would have the fullest cooperation with the U.N. experts to visit the areas affected.” (At http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/25/us-naval-forces-move-closer-to-syria-hagel-suggests)

Really? Then why were these investigators stopped for a week? Their promises are hollow for the simple reason that whatever attack the opposition made would be a danger to any chance the opposition has, whatever attack Syria made on these investigators would condemn them. Not reporting anything is in Syria’s interest. The simple truth at present is that both Israel and Jordan prefer to stay out of the way as much as possible. Israel needs to wait whether Hamas or Hezbollah will start attacking Israel first. If Israel is part of the attack to Syria, then both Hamas and Hezbollah will launch strikes on Israel, this is why Walid al-Muallim adds Israel to the mix. In addition, Russians next puppet is about to enter the field. In an age where we thought that the tension between Iran and the west would lighten up, the Iranian news reported the following: “The Iranian ambassador to Russia says the Islamic Republic can play a ‘constructive role’ in the Geneva 2 conference which is expected to be held on the Syrian crisis.” Of course Russians motive is simple, whatever happens they win. If Iran fails, then the tension on Iran versus West lights up again, if they win America looks weak and in addition Russia makes another billion for loads of concrete for a ‘power plant’ (and then some more including a dozen 7 figure bonuses). In addition, these talks will show initial failings and weaknesses for the Americans as the west will not interfere with Syria and the ‘red line’ Syria crossed.

These are the facts behind certain strategies and in addition most of them are public. The parts that are not that visible were those that were brought to light by Wikileaks. We could argue that those illustrated involving Brown Lloyd James were to be investigated, yet, is that an actual truth? If we consider their mission statement which is “BLJ crafts high-impact communication strategies that move diplomacy forward.” then it might not be the pure smell of Lavender, yet, we should not forget that Assad is still the sovereign ruler of Syria, if BLJ keeps diplomatic channels open, then that is not a bad thing.

How are these events linked?

That is part of the issue. Even though the UK wants and could enter the field to intercept Syrian chemical war abilities, PM David Cameron will go via Parliament (even though not officially needed). When the vote is up, consider who will oppose this and how many of them have had dealings with BLJ. It might make for an interesting picture. The other part where BLJ becomes visible through one of its executives (Mike Holtzman) was an article that goes back to 2003. In that part it was the quote “A solid majority of Americans-over fifty percent-believe the U.S. should lift restrictions on Americans’ freedom to travel to Cuba, allow U.S.-produced food and medical products to be sold to Cuba unimpeded and take steps toward normalization with Cuba as a matter of America’s national interest.” At present the Cuban travel embargo still exists. There are more connections that Mike Holtzman had, and many of them in his work serving both Syria and Cuba, so where does he truly stand? Let me be clear! This man broke no laws, is doing his work and chose his customers as he is allowed to choose them (even though many would call the choice questionable). Yet, in the light of Russia-Cuba and the issues at play we must wonder whether a second cold war has started, or is about to start. That evidence can be seen in several places, many of them public newspapers. The issues that the US has in regards Edward Snowden as well as the issues many nations have with Russian’s anti-Gay approach do not help to diminish tensions (its not like the Russians actually cared about them tensions).

They (the Russians) do play this type of chess game well. As they stated “In connection with this, the Russian side calls for [Washington to] refrain from the threat of force on Damascus, to not fall for provocations and to try to help create normal conditions to give the UN chemical experts’ mission, which is already in the country, the possibility of conducting a thorough, objective and impartial investigation” the foreign ministry statement said (as published by the Guardian), we see that the delays from snipers and administration, the only outcome is that the UN inspectors will now be unlikely to uncover evidence to point to a clear transgressor. No matter who wins that part, no action will only show weakness on the American shores, which serves Moscow, Havana and Beijing just fine.

So is there an actual second cold war? I honestly do not know, but plenty of events are there to turn my ‘Do not know‘ into a very strong ‘likely‘.

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