Tag Archives: Friedrich Nietzsche

Time Magazine as a comedian

There are days when things go pear shaped, we all have them. Some go pear shaped in the best of ways, others less so. Now, I am not a big fan of Time magazine. I have nothing against them and the pictures tend to be pretty awesome. Yet, until today I had no idea that they had an interesting sense of humour. So, let’s take a look at ‘This Is What the U.S. Can Do to Help End It‘ in regards to the Syrian war (at http://time.com/5195442/eastern-ghouta-syria-civil-war-anniversary/).

It starts with “as it stands today, the U.S. is essentially a bystander. The Trump Administration has on cruise control the same ISIS-centric policies of the Obama Administration. The small contingent of U.S. troops present in eastern Syria only marginally stabilize territory liberated from the Islamic State while preventing Iranian and Syrian government forces from seizing the region. The Trump Administration has ended the CIA’s arm-and-equip program for the Syrian moderate opposition, a program which was created under President Obama, which was never sustainable or substantial“, which is true, there is nothing in opposition of that and in that regard we remain serious. That is, until we see: “Find a way to deliver aid. The U.S. must work with the international community to find an effective means of getting resources to the region. The stream of videos coming out of Ghouta shows a population subjected to the worst conditions imaginable. We should take the lead in enforcing United Nations demands for a real cease-fire to alleviate this brutal suffering. We can save lives now.” Is that so? Perhaps some can remember the ceasefire that was unanimously set in motion at the UN around the 1st of March. So, how did that pan out? Knowing that Russia and Syria hold the US in even less regard than the UN, the chances of the first part becoming reality is not that much of a reality to begin with and re-iterating that point 12 days later is a little bit of a joke at the very least. In eastern Ghouta, according to SBS, the death toll has passed the ‘thousand mark’, implying that the Ghouta region gets depopulated by close to one hundred cadavers every day. One could argue that until the culling stops, it will be too late for humanitarian aid. If the players had only acted 6 years ago, instead of waiting, sitting on ones hands and hoping for diplomatic resolution, or accept the reality that Syrian lives have no counterbalance in oil and let them pass away (it is not humane, but the reality we see here will never ever be near humane). Wasn’t it Friedrich Nietzsche who said: ‘To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering‘? So how much meaning can we find in Syria at present?

But that was merely their opening act. Getting to the main event we get “Repair relations with Turkey. In the end, U.S. policy in Syria rests on the U.S. and Turkey working together. Turkey is currently engaged in Operation Olive Branch against Syrian Kurds in the northern Syrian city of Afrin, to stabilize its own southern border and to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state“. So, how delusional is that? Turkey only cares about Turkey, which in itself is nothing they can be blamed for, that stance is fair enough. So, how will the US continue in regards to the Armenian genocide? Let’s not forget that we might soon have the situation that Turkey could be blamed for two genocides, at that instance Turkey would in theory surpass Nazi Germany. The entire PKK issue is one that hangs around the necks of both the US and NATO. The headline ‘Kurds threatened with beheading by Turkey’s allies if they don’t convert to extremism‘, which we see in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-civil-war-assad-regime-turkey-afrin-kurds-eastern-ghouta-us-allies-militia-a8252456.html) also shows “Mr Abdulrahman, who is the leading human rights monitor in Syria with a network of informants throughout the country, says he is worried that international attention is entirely focused on the Syrian army assault on Eastern Ghouta and “nobody is talking about” the potential slaughter of the Kurds and other minorities in Afrin“, with in addition: “as many as one million Kurds may be threatened and adds that it is becoming extremely difficult for them to escape from Afrin because Syrian government checkpoints on the only road leading south to Aleppo “are demanding bribes of up to $4,000 per family to let people through.” Mr Abdulrahman points to growing evidence drawn from videos taken by themselves of militiamen claiming to be members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that the units advancing ahead of regular Turkish troops are extreme jihadis“, the reasoning there is “Isis recruits had been instructed by Turkish trainers not to use their traditional tactics, such as the of extensive use of car bombs, because this would identify them as terrorists. He suspected that Isis fighters would be used as cannon fodder in Turkey’s war against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and then discarded“.

Perhaps we should also remember the part that Time Magazine did not give us. “The Turkish military responded with a ferocious counterinsurgency campaign that led to the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, most of them Turkish Kurdish civilians, and the displacement of more than three million Kurds from south eastern Turkey“, which is seen in The Middle East by Ellen Lust. My knowledge of the PKK goes back to the days when we saw Öcalan pleading for an independent Kurdistan. I am not stating that the PKK was innocent, there are questions on both sides, yet as the Americans are so actively ignoring the Armenian issues as well as trying to please Turkey, a nation that has never proven to be a true ally, will the US and NATO remain in denial in regards to the 40,000 dead Kurdish civilians? That would be wrong on a whole new level. In that regard there is one additional part. The claim that ‘the PKK had been accusing Turkey of supporting ISIS at the time when the PKK was part of several offensives against ISIS in Iraq and Syria‘, an issue reported by Al Jazeera in 2015. Was that ever proven or disproven? You see, allowing an ISIS supporter in our midst is one part that should offend everyone, yet that too does not make it to the radar of Time magazine.

And it does not end there, the comedy gets to be better with “Only Turkey has the credibility, resources and geopolitical heft to steward U.S. interests in Northern Syria“, it is Saturday Night Life (SNL) in magazine form. Turkey has not had any credibility for close to a decade; perhaps some Americans remember how Turkey wanted all their debts wiped to allow US planes over Turkey. This happened shortly after 9/11, so when you remember that part, how dicey is their allegiance? And the only resources it clearly has are the ones they have and others pay for. That is seen with “Turkey’s continued membership in NATO means that American taxpayers subsidize the Turkish state in the form of guarantees of military defense in case of military conflict with non-NATO nations”, which implies that at least in part, the US is paying for the conflicts that Turkey is currently in. When was that going to be exposed and in that light, what resources does Turkey actually have, bought and paid for with non US supported funds? I do not know, I am merely asking.

So after the main event we get a small collection of one-liners like “Threaten additional, immediate sanctions of Russia. Putin is directly responsible for the Syrian government’s actions. Options at the U.N. have been exhausted. Accountability mechanisms are non-existent — even investigative mechanisms like the U.N. probe into chemical attacks in Syria have been undermined and curtailed by Russian veto“, sanctions have never worked (so far), Syria will never listen to Russia but will knock on their door for aid (linked to clear profitable agreements that is) and the UN options were never exhausted, in fact none were actually used in the end as none had any chance of working.

It is like me stating that my sex life with Scarlett Johansson is exhausted! That part is absolutely true, yet I never have been with her in the first place and as I never have had any Dangerous Liaisons with the youthful young lady (read: 33 years, 3 months and 21 days at present) and I am merely looking at optional non-existing future endeavours, so for that part I am completely honest (and equally unrealistic), just like the United Nations.

So as the article ends with the truth in the shape of “There will be no winners in the Syrian Civil War, and the reconstruction costs of returning the country to even a minimal level of functioning will be enormous. Neither Russia nor Iran alone can afford to support it, and the Syrians will bear the costs of this debacle for decades to come“, we all agree that this will be the case. So as the EU and US are preparing to make some good will gesture in the shape of 3-4 billion, I wonder how much of that will in the end make it to the people. I personally see it as a path that will invigorate corruption and self-indulgence of the administrations that receive such funds. UN oversight will be close to pointless and in the end a fair bit of that will go towards paying the Russian constructions firms like LLC Priceline, who had the connections to end the war by culling the opposition of President Bashar al-Assad. So in the end it is like watching the UN feeling better about themselves because they added some relief funds. When we set the entire spectre of events into a classical frame, we could be watching the reality of the Divine Comedy. When you consider that in the end well over 500,000 soul ended in eternal torment, the setting of reality is worse than the one Dante Alighieri envisioned, but then the Syrian war was no Time Magazine Comedy, or a classic Italian Poem, which is at present 700 years old. Syria will end up being the damnation of us all, we will end up being damned through our inaction to get anything done because in the end none of us got anything positive done towards the Syrians, not those in Syria and not the millions of refugees, we ended up disappointing them all close to completely.

Yet with the end of the Divine Comedy we got ‘My guide and I did enter, to return To the fair world‘ making it a fairy tale compared to the Syrian reality, the reality of the world we helped create, merely the darkness of caves and the evil we harbour in our midst. I feel certain that is how the refugees feel for generations to come, the eternal curse of inaction and those watching those remain absent of action towards their survival.



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Where the insane runs the asylum

The Guardian had an unsettling article yesterday (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/22/david-cameron-us-america-refuses-british-muslim-family-disneyland). Now we all know that US protocol is not completely up to scrap. It gets enforced by people and certain systems are updated by people, so things will go bump into the night. For a family of 11, trying to get their Christmas dream in play, that fact must be overwhelmingly unsettling. You see, they were refused to get to the US. The issue “a family party of 11, about to embark on a dream holiday for which they had saved for months, were approached by officials from US homeland security as they queued in the departure lounge and told their authorisation to travel had been cancelled, without further explanation“.

On the one side… No scrap that!

There are two sides, either there is a genuine issue and in that case DHS would have had to have updated the British security services. If that is not the case than we have a first case of evidence that the DHS data systems are now so garbled it can no longer distinguish between friend or foe, which is another matter entirely.

So “Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, has written to the prime minister she is concerned that a growing number of British Muslims are saying they have had similar experiences of being barred from the US without being told the reasons for the exclusion“, this is indeed an issue.

Friedrich Nietzsche: A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything

First we must acknowledge that the US has not given a reason, so we are merely speculating, yet why avoid tourist income? Well, the Canadian Star had reported on a similar issue in March 2015, here we see the following quote: “United States Customs and Border Protection refused to comment on the Al-Rawi incident, but said travellers are responsible for proving their innocence“, so a tourist is regarded as guilty until proven innocent? How does that relate to the Law that is unless the Supreme Court states that presumption of innocence does not apply to tourists and Muslims and that should be a barrel of fun for everyone all over!

From my side, I always tend to keep an open mind, but here I have too many questions. refusal means flags, flags means data, that data should be shared with British Security services, if not, then why are we allies with America? Because they are so powerful? They remain utterly bankrupt in my eyes, the fact that they buckled a few times and the fact that the press is now looking at Russia as the possible salvation for the Syrian situation should be ample signs that America has outlasted their power base. The fact that the Canadian example involves a physician from Toronto General Hospital gives way to even more questions as this was not some plumber with a small business, it was a doctor with a position and a solid foundation for the future of his family, the idea that he wants to throw that away for an uncertain live in a nation now ruled by bigotry is not really that reliable a source, is it? I would choose live in any town in Canada over any city in the US any day of the week, but that’s just me!

Havelock Ellis: The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum

The MP, having “hit a brick wall” in her own attempts to get answers from the American embassy, has asked the prime minister to press US officials for an explanation for the Mahmood family’s exclusion“, which is interesting, the fact that an elected official is not receiving any answers leans towards the fact that the issue is not founded and that the lack of foundation implies unreliable data.

You see, an individual might not get an answer, an elected official (in this case Labour MP Stella Creasy, would have had access to a higher echelon of staff, meaning the answer ‘security flag’ could have been received. It will then be up to the British Security Services to resolve this (or investigate this). At which point the mere notice “We apologise, yet information has been obtained that regards you and your family a possible risk“. Now that might not be nice to hear, but that also means there is something to work from. As British Security Services are on average 300% more efficient than the US alphabet teams, more info would have been begotten. In my mind the question now becomes, if US data is unreliable, how come, who has been filling up that part of the system? The old ‘Garbage in Garbage out’ applies, even to today’s systems (even a little more when you see some of the assumptionary techniques Palantir Government allows to use). That last part needs a little explanation, actually Palantir has a good handle on it. You should read ‘THE POKÉMON PROBLEM: A NEW ANTI-PATTERN‘ (at https://www.palantir.com/2009/03/the-pokemon-problem/). As I see it (read: assumption), some analysts have been rehashing data, iteration upon iteration. So as such, some given elements will become the anchor while it should be nothing more than a passing event that is linked to an ACTUAL anchor. You see the article has ‘the’ solution with ‘the visitor pattern‘, yet consider, when someone makes these files, using temp files (as any analyst will do), now consider that those temp files are not properly managed and over a set of iterations that value was saved in the file for speed reasons. So the end of that article reads: “We now have easy re-factoring, no resource leaks, and have simplified calling code. And finally: there are no new bugs to be introduced by callers that aren’t sure how to use our resource. Looks like we caught ‘em all!

True, there were no resource leaks, they were possibly written in a temporary variable by an analyst and not correctly wiped when needed. In this instance groups of people are wrongly classified, more irritating is that it could also clear people who should not have been. This solution is nothing more than an indication on how easily a mere flag can go wrong. The US manages bulk data on a massive scale on a daily basis, so one mistake is not an assumption, it is a guarantee, a system drained, stretched and under resourced is leaving a mark, now on people in different ways, a massive problem for the US government no matter how you slice it.

James L. Petigru: South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum

The quote “Mahmood said neither he nor his brother, Mohammad Zahid Mahmood, had ever been in trouble with the police. They have been told by the airline they were to travel with that the £9,000 cost of their flights, for which they had been saving for many months, will not be refunded” gives way to even more issues. Not only were they deprived of status, they are deprived of funds. At which point we could see either an immediate refund, or if not given an overhaul of the US tourist industry. You see, the US would be required to give mandatory answers before the flight is paid for, that means that any interest in travelling to the US must be met with clearance, so not the 25,000 travelers, no the 354,000 interested parties must be vetted, which means that the DHS would run out of resources almost instantly, implying that they become useless even before they are needed. In addition, it also seems that they have a brother in Southern California. Perhaps there is an issue with data there (too)?

So how does this sit with the Prime Minister?

A Downing Street spokeswoman said Cameron would consider the issues raised in Creasy’s letter and respond in due course, which is of course fair enough, immediate response would not possible without all the facts and the US Embassy does not seem to be given any.

From the view I have, I don’t have one perse! You see data is at the core of this, but beyond the core there is the policy and the policy in play has been broken for some time now, the issue is that even in a broken policy, or should I say especially in a broken policy things will go wrong and the wrong people are labelled, it happens and for this family that is unfortunate, yet in all this the equal stress is that those who should be labelled are not, because that is a reality the US might not be properly investigating, mainly because it can’t, the data could realistically have become that cross contaminated.

How much value should you hold to my view?

Oscar Levant: There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line

My knowledge of data got me partially here, my knowledge/experience part of that way, you see on one side you do not go lightly with such rejections, not even the US, so we should expect smoke, but the two examples shows clear questionable issues and I do not believe that this is only two instances, the real amount will be much larger, especially when we consider the UK, Canada, France and a few others. So how to use a data system where the data is no longer reliable? Because that is the question that is currently in question. If it turns out to be mere policy than the US will be in more problem than they realise because discrimination of that magnitude will not go unanswered for long.

So can this still be a mere security issue?

Yes, that remains possible but in that case another response should have been voiced by more than one party, no matter what, the cancellation of funds in excess of £9,000 will be another topic still, because the cancellation was not due to any fault of the travelling party, which is an issue the UK Watchdog should address and they should address it very soon.


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