Tag Archives: Huffington Post

Round two

Yesterday was a day when I thought it was essential to speak out against the language used in the NY Times. It was part of a larger whole that will be shown to all over time (as I am missing three pieces of evidence). Yet the oil issue was in the centre of it all and so it remains. Now, I had done my homework (for the most), yet there was one element I overlooked and it is an important one. Reuters was awake and gave us (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-opec-saudi-trump/can-saudi-arabia-pump-much-more-oil-idUSKBN1JR1HI) the part I forgot about. “the kingdom, OPEC’s biggest member, can barely raise output by 1 million bpd to 11 million bpd and even that would be difficult, according to industry analysts who forecast a further oil price rally due to a lack of new supply“, yes we forgot about the engine that drives it all. It has been increasing production again and again, yet at some point; the system that drives the production of crude reaches its maximum and that is where the teller of barrels is now hitting a little issue. I like (yet optionally disagree) with Gary Ross, head of global oil analytics at S&P Global. With “While Saudi Arabia has the capacity in theory, it takes time and money to bring these barrels online, possibly up to 1 year“, we see a ‘stabilising’ comment, but based on what, knowledge of the parts that are driving the crude oil machine forward? Perhaps that is true, yet if that is the case the one year setting is off. Other elements require adjustment, but the one year (yes he did add ‘up to’) implies that engines and perhaps pipes require adjustment, meaning that the system is set to increase beyond the 100% marker might be more dangerous. Pressure can be a bitching issue and the mere fact that even in suburbia water mains still go out (mine went kablooie yesterday evening) implies that there is a setting where pressures do not align. Now with water it is a nuisance, so my evening of pasta went straight out of the window. With crude oil it is another matter entirely. There the blown gasket can optionally make a mess to the environment and more important, it could optionally force Saudi Arabia to turn the dial down to 60%-80% until that mess is fixed. When that happens they go into a freefall where one plugging evokes another part to burst emotionally, that is where the problem starts and that is an important side in all this.

It is not the only part; CNBC gave us (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/30/oil-deal-may-stir-the-pot-in-the-middle-east-and-test-saudi-capacity.html) a few other parts. Even as we might be able to ignore “Iran and Venezuela are both reeling economically, with Tehran feeling the bite of new sanctions“, especially as Iran has a set clientele. Yet the given part of “President Donald Trump surprised the world on Saturday by announcing a new side agreement with the Saudis to compensate for supply shortages from crisis-hit producers“. I found the setting of ‘compensate for supply shortages from crisis-hit producers‘. It is interesting for two reasons. The first is that the US had no application for Iranian oil in the first place and the second is that Venezuela had all kinds of issues; I personally believe that the low price of oil is reasons for some of it. Yet when we take a step back we get three pieces. The first in 2017 when we saw the Business Insider treat us to “Falling output at refineries means that Venezuela needs to import more gasoline, squeezing the national budget even further. Refineries are currently working at less than 30 percent of average 2016 levels. State-run oil company PDVSA is importing between 100 and 150 thousand barrels per day of gasoline”, so why are the refineries down to 30%? In addition, that is the refinery issue, the setting is not the petrochemical part it is merely the availability of crude oil that was the issue. The second was March 2018 where Reuters gave us “Indian imports of oil from Venezuela have fallen to their lowest levels in over half a decade, shipping and industry data showed, as a severe economic and political crisis hits crude output in the South American OPEC member“, so that is a production need, which beckons why India has decided to import less, are there suddenly 275 million cars less? No there are not, just try to blindly cross Saket Metro Station in New Delhi and you will get hit by two dozen cars within a minute, so that part is not happening. Forbes had its own version of the issue in 2017 and even as it sounds acceptable, I belief that there is a larger issue in play. You see We might look at the Financial Times and see ‘A Venezuelan oil embargo would wipe out Maduro & Co‘, yet the setting is larger than that. Consider Chili, Brazil and Argentine, all needing petrochemical products, the fact that refineries have issues is one thing, the fact that there is a shortage of crude oil and that cannot be met is equally an issue, so why is that?

I have no answers, mere speculations, yet whenever I searched for the Venezuelan reserves and beyond the Argentinian president Mauricio Macri advocating of ‘there would be ‘broad support’ across the region for a full oil embargo‘, I see no evidence of shortage (out in the open). All these actions on Venezuela, forcing them into even more hardship, how has that ever led to anything positive?

Yet the story is the crude, would an arm-twisting scenario to send 30% of the crude oil price into a fund that is only to be used for humanitarian and local support. Would that not work? It seems better than an embargo kicking things over. The additional news that China is importing less from that source is making things worse and no resolution will be coming forward making things better. The other party Iran is a given, yet they still export to a few nations.

Oil price dot come is giving numbers that clearly imply that over a year oil production has fallen by close to 50%, with the implied forecast that the International Energy Agency (IEA) states regarding the Venezuelan oil production which could drop to just 800,000 bpd or even lower next year. it seems that most actions against Venezuela is a little too harsh, now nobody is implying that they are saints, yet we can all agree that they are not Iran. In 2017 it was all about censorship (or anti hatred laws as the Venezuelan government puts it). Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/04/venezuela-happening-170412114045595.html) gave us a more in depth part. So when I see some of the issues, with items like ‘Health assistance’, ‘Food shortages’ as well as ‘Hyperinflation’, where a deal could be made that 30% of the sale goes into 10% sprockets addressing these three settings, it could be an optional solution to negotiate. It seems to me that an embargo is often the least of all working solutions, even as it enables the US to get basement prices on a million barrels a day, apart from the setting that they have more immediate problems and removing Venezuela form the equation pushes the other pressures more. Even if it means that the Maduro administration would have to swallow its pride, there might be a path to a long term solution that they were part of, at present they have nothing to look forward to but an angry mob of people left with nothing. It should not allow the US to discuss the price of eggs, yet the Maduro government will realise that the price of fish came at a premium and it is not derived from merely sweat and tears.

This setting is important, because when we look back at the Saudi situation with its 10 million barrels a day, when the pressure goes wrong and the US suddenly loses access to two to four million barrels a day. when that happens and that danger is not unrealistic, do you really think that the American economy is ready for a 25% price hike? Do you think that there will be mere frowns? That danger is not merely a speculation. the danger was shown last week when we saw reports on “The shutdown of Syncrude’s oilsands facility last week could lead to a shortage of oil in North America, investment bank Goldman Sachs has warned“, the source was the Huffington Post (at https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/06/26/syncrude-outage-oil-shortage-north-america_a_23468490/), in addition we got “Syncrude’s facility has a capacity of 350,000 barrels of oil per day, but it shut down production on Friday after a transformer blew, the Globe and Mail reported. The company says production could be offline for all of July“, so there was the given part I left for last, merely a ‘transformer’ and without Optimus Oil rolling out the juice, no crude for a month. So do you really want to play a game of Russian Turbines with the Saudi oil setting and pushing the need from them to deep into the red zone of engineering safety? With that given, what are the dangers when the push goes south in a very realistic way when the downfall will be 90-150 days? Do you still think that finding some dialogue with Venezuela is not an optional much better solution? I would tell you the story of the silly politician and that person relying one basket for all his eggs (and his demoted belief that they were golden ones), your parents might have told you the story when you were young. So when Goldman Sachs gives us: “shrink stockpiles at the main U.S. storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, putting upward pressure on oil prices“, they are telling you no fibs, what they neglect to mention is that the danger is a lot more realistic then most predict and the impact could end up being an increase in price that is not pennies, but several dollars. to emphasize that, you merely need to consider May 2008 when the crude price went to $148 a barrel, twice the price it is now. You still ready to play that game of chicken with oil producing hardware, because in the end you will always lose that game. These devices adhere to the cold calculations of pressures and power and in the end the Wall Street motto of ‘120% of norm is merely our version of a Monday morning wakeup call‘ will backfire to all those who relied on affordable fuel.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Politics, Science

Physical vs Virtual (part2)

In part 2 we look at the virtual aspect in all this and for that we need to take a look at the other part of the equation, and see where the interaction ended up, because that is also a matter that truly counts.

Virtually

It started way before now, but the now gives us ‘Facebook moves 1.5bn users out of reach of new European privacy law‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/19/facebook-moves-15bn-users-out-of-reach-of-new-european-privacy-law). You see the law is one thing, yet in all this, when we see “Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally“, was anything illegal done? When we see: “when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said“, did he lie?

Those are the immediate questions. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU in this gives us “replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy“, so the people created their account long before these privacy issues were there. They never cared for the longest time, as long as the US government didn’t get any data and when we respond to pornographic images and videos on social media, oh no, that was not us, that was merely Gavin Barwell (see part 1), in a time when his mind should have been all other kinds of matters. Ah well, we all have an itch now and then. Yes, it is that itch, because we are all on social media for some reason, to share, to look, to listen and to judge. Some of them actually communicate, and that has also been proven so communication on social media is not a fab. So when we see the EU site on the GDPR: “the biggest change to the regulatory landscape of data privacy comes with the extended jurisdiction of the GDPR, as it applies to all companies processing the personal data of data subjects residing in the Union, regardless of the company’s location. Previously, territorial applicability of the directive was ambiguous and referred to data process ‘in context of an establishment’. This topic has arisen in a number of high profile court cases. GPDR makes its applicability very clear – it will apply to the processing of personal data by controllers and processors in the EU, regardless of whether the processing takes place in the EU or not“, the first thing we see is that social media has no business having offices or processing data in the EU, that basically is the signal for Facebook to vacate using the ASAP protocol and they did just that. And Mark Zuckerberg did it all in the spirit of it all, it is just not what was expected and the Senate hearing just gave themselves (allegedly) access to de data to nearly all the European users. the second part gives us “The GDPR will also apply to the processing of personal data of data subjects in the EU by a controller or processor not established in the EU, where the activities relate to: offering goods or services to EU citizens (irrespective of whether payment is required) and the monitoring of behaviour that takes place within the EU. Non-Eu businesses processing the data of EU citizens will also have to appoint a representative in the EU“, so with ‘monitoring of behaviour that takes place within the EU‘, is a much larger issue and Alex Hern makes no mention of this anywhere in the article (that is not an accusation), merely that Facebook has moved the data and that the people in the EU have less rights under US law. Was that not always the case? Was that not the initial setting when Facebook started? So when we read “This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for consent requirements“, which we get from Privacy researcher Lukasz Olejnik, we actually do not get anything new, because the GDPR would not have been enforced until next month, so there! (OK, not an entirely justified outcry, but I am feeling batty)

In all this the missed issue of monitoring is actually a lot larger for some and those boasting on what they bought on the dark net (some people remain simple on every level) will have a few repercussions, yet in all this when it regards Cambridge Analytica, we see all kinds of media exploitations, rumours, alleged actions, yet no arrests, no one in the dock and still the entire mess is merely focussed on Facebook. We have seen news on a massive amount of apps collecting data, smart toys, and with the upcoming 5G, the RFID and mobile tag as well as device tags will be an exponentially growing data market with the entire Fortune 500 chomping at the bits to get their fingers on that data, yet at present the legislation has been faulty at best and nominally missing completely. All that because the people give it all away willingly, that is what the next fridge with a £250 discount will warrant, as did the 2016 Sony Smart TV as just about all following models. that is not a joke, you agreed to this when you bought the TV,

it is in the end users license agreement and they are not alone, it is a massive list of corporation that are doing this and the media was, yet they were largely silent about it and the Sony issue in 2012, where the media is what I would personally label as: ‘whoring for advertisement options‘ instead of informing 30 million consumers on the change and its impact, is what still has my nostrils flaring 6 years later and I am an actual Sony fan.

So as we see how we are singularly focussed on where our personal data is and not what we allowed it to be used for, especially as it came with the free use of Facebook, we all need to accept that nothing is for free and the corporation requires its return of investment, well in the case of Facebook merely 60 billion. Where did you think that value came from? Watching advertisement? In that Facebook and google are largely alike. So in these issues in the physical and virtual side, we are short on memory, too large on emotions and unclear on how to make the houses of Lords and Commons more accountable for the matters at hand. Even as they cannot prevent you from staying with Facebook, we all have been failed by legislation that was too slow and MP’s that are showing to be lacking the necessary skills to do something successfully. It would be so lovely if Sir Martin Moore-Bick would be kind enough to show both matters, because it would have a much larger impact. Even as we see, (what I would personally call) the failed false promises of Jeremy Corbyn regarding housing, with: “One million new “genuinely affordable homes” over a decade, mostly for social rent. That’s not quite 1m new council houses – a chunk of these would be delivered by housing associations – but it gets very close” is also a Porky Pie of the largest order. You merely have to look at google Maps to see that there is no place for even 30% of that in London, so will they mostly be in Wales, Penzance, Brighton and Scarborough? In addition, none of the sides of the houses
(Lords or Commons) have successfully done anything to make a change, regarding leasehold which will drive the entire social housing matter further and 1,000,000 houses will not nearly be enough. So, back to the Virtual part, because that is still central in this. In that part I have to thank the realtor Harcourts for bringing the juice.

You see, with: “NPP1 – Collection of Information; Agencies are prohibited from collecting personal information unless it is necessary for one or more of its functions. Personal data should only be collected in a lawful, fair, and not unreasonably obtrusive way. The agency must disclose certain information at the point of collection“, yet in all this the terms: ‘unless it is necessary for one or more of its functions‘ gives a much wider scope, does it not? In addition, with ‘only be collected in a lawful, fair, and not unreasonably obtrusive way‘. So when they (the real estate in general) offer a £199 rebate for registering you as the leasehold owner, how many people do you think that will consider it necessary and not unreasonable? It merely needs to satisfy one function and the deed is covered with the mantle of opportunity. In addition we see “Personal and sometimes sensitive information may be collected and stored on standard real estate industry forms, such as tenancy applications, listing forms, etc. These need to be secured and available for inspection by customers“, so when did you look at what some call the RP Database? In Australia there is a firm CoreLogic and it has a product called RP Data Professional. In all this we see: “RP Data Professional is the leading property data solution used by property professionals in Australia. Prepare reports for prospects and clients, generate value estimates, verify information and conduct valuable research and highly targeted marketing. Packages starting from $150 / month“. It is widely used by debt collecting agencies as well as realtors. You would be surprised to see all that data and what every address offers. Do you think that they are the only ones? Data is gold, it is the printer that allows you to print your own money and for the most it is massively unchecked. Now, I know that RP Data is merely a facilitator in all this, all perfectly valid, and nothing illegal. Yet when we consider ABC in 2016 with “The Reserve Bank has taken the highly unusual step of switching its preferred home value data, arguing that CoreLogic’s figures overstated price growth in April and May due to a methodology change“, so as you see the data goes a lot further and for the most the people, the tenants and Real Estate seekers are totally unaware of such parts and in all this do you think that the UK does not have its own options. In all this, with the explosive cladding issues, did you not think that the clad dealers were not tailoring to ‘property value increase at minimum costs’? This goes a lot wider in several lanes and the sudden much larger issue of cladding is almost not looked at (I did say almost).

So when we see “CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless acknowledged that the changes to the index may have temporarily bumped up the figures for a couple of months. However, he said other data indicate that those two months were still relatively strong for Sydney and Melbourne housing sales” we forget to look at the aligned indications and what else is setting the pass in all this. Even as the last parts were the Australian side of this, CoreLogic is also active in the UK. In this no one seems to have talked to CoreLogic to see if the cladding industry has been given (through subscription) access to the UK RP Database. Is that not interesting too? You see, when we accept the January setting of “Just three tower blocks out of almost 300 with the same “dangerous” and “flammable” cladding as Grenfell Tower have had panels taken down and replaced“, how come the number of buildings is so high? Are all cladding providers so very bad, or was there a very intelligent salesperson selling cladding to the right people, when the timing was just right? I am fairly certain that this part of the conversations has not been showing up anywhere.

The virtual side to the Grenfell disaster was not seen, perhaps that part was immaterial at that time, yet when we see 297 tower blocks in a serious setting of harm, with the initial setting of finding the proper candidates, have we considered that corporate social media (like LinkedIn) could be used to get the goods (in alleged Cambridge Analytica style) to create fear in other ways? A lack of value versus a larger valuation set against a minimal investment. You show me a person who turns that down and I will introduce you to a person who is very aware of the concept of dishonesty.

You see, we have seen for the better part of 5 years the notion of taking fear from the workplace, usually in the style of ‘Corporate Leaders Must Remove Fear Factor from the Workplace‘, which we get from the Huffington Post (at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-prefontaine/corporate-leaders-must-re_1_b_1437445.html) as early as 2012, so when we see “As reported in the Harvard Business Review, employees faced with incivility are likely to narrow their focus to avoid risks, and lose opportunities to learn in the process. Obviously this impacts their level of personal success and the success of the organization“, yet in equal measure, those actors never considered to take the fear factor out of the boardrooms, which are forever ruled by the bottom line and in that respect there is very little difference between a corporate boardroom, or places like the Kensington and Chelsea TMO, which has one bottom line, which is the value of housing and the rise of values of upcoming new housing. So now, the entire Metro section we saw in part one with ‘Cladding added to Grenfell Tower to ‘improve view for nearby luxury flats‘ it makes a whole lot more sense does it not? It is my personal view and opinion, yet in all that data was at the very Core and Logic of it all (pun intended). So when you think the Facebook data is an issue, guess again. The issue is a lot bigger, wider and more exploitable at the expense of yourself of course) than you would have thought.

All within the considerate view of those not looking at any of this, and you think I went deep here? I merely touched the surface and I will be very surprised if the public inquiry touches on any of those matters, not because they do not want to, but because the legal scope is unlikely to be there, as it would have been in the emotional seeking justice side. I guess that it is one of the questions that certain councils do not want to answer, so making sure that the question is not asked will be a first priority for all of them, because if it does get to the table, those who want to stiff Leaseholders with a £40,000 bill might optionally end up being not so successful and there is every indication that a fair chunk of those 297 tower blocks are currently facing a similar dilemma.

That is just my thought on the matter, and in all this, when you start realising the issues at hand and the time that this has taken, in addition that I saw some in minutes a few more in hours and one or two through my decades of data experience, are you not surprised that the elected officials remained in the dark? I know I am one of the better ones on the planet, but I know close to a dozen equal or better than me, many living in London. Do you actually think that some were in the dark or are they allegedly keeping themselves ignorant? In that case, if more happens, how many lives was the price of that ignorance? Can we afford to find out?

I’ll leave you with those questions, have a great Friday and do try to enjoy the weekend!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Politics

The other side of sickness

Sky News gave me the idea last night. I was half awake (hence: half asleep) when the news (at http://news.sky.com/story/de-niro-offers-100k-reward-to-media-for-truth-about-controversial-childrens-vaccine-10771445), when de news stating ‘De Niro offers $100k reward‘ became visible. When I woke up completely (a few hours later), I saw the full Monty: “De Niro offers $100k reward to media for ‘truth’ about controversial children’s vaccine“, which was a little more descriptive. Now I am not media, but I have decided to take a look at it. First off, it is never a good idea to meet your idol when he is still alive, but I think Robert got through it OK. What more is there on the article?

The first part is “willing to publicise criticism of a controversial children’s vaccine“, which is an odd start, so the important part is Thimerosal, which is the medication part that needs to be scrutinised. The other part we get is “a substance containing mercury, in the generalised MMR vaccine, which protects children against measles, mumps and rubella“, now we are off to the races. You see, Mercury is toxic, so is Arsenic. Yet Arsenic was used in the past as a treatment (in very small doses) against Syphilis. It is not the only example. In small doses it is used against Osteoarthritis, which contains a substance that got someone ‘accidently’ poisoned to death in the 60’s, yet in those days Boron (the substance in question) was not tested for, because the body will have it. It is merely the concentration that took care of the non-breathing part in the end.

So what is the story with Thimerosal? Let’s start at the beginning.

last_case_07Vaccines go all the way back to 1798 (roughly) when a man named Edward Jenner decided to pioneer a solution against Smallpox. The solution he came up with was to infect a person with the cow version of the disease so that the human body would see the weaker version as a threat and the body would be fast and more effective fighting the actual disease. So I grew up in the 60’s getting all kinds of vaccines and injections, the conclusion in my case was that I have had no real dangerous diseases for well over 35 years. The World Health Organisation proclaimed that after vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the global eradication of smallpox in 1979.

So vaccines are seen as a good thing, so what changed our minds?

There are a few issues that have grown that give voice to the anti-vaccination feelings. Yet, there is documentation out in the open showing exactly the opposite. I witnessed this in the Netherlands (at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4914a2.htm), in the time frame between April 1999 and January 2000, which gives us the quote “a cluster of five cases of measles was reported among the 390 students attending a religion-affiliated elementary school in the Netherlands. Persons belonging to this religious denomination routinely do not accept vaccination. Municipal health services (MHSs) investigated and found 160 suspected measles cases among children attending the school. By February 4, 2000, 2961 measles cases, including three measles-related deaths, had been reported by 35 MHSs to the national registry. This report summarizes the investigation of the measles outbreak in the Netherlands, which indicated that measles can be a severe disease among unvaccinated populations in the Netherlands“. This alone should clearly show the essential support for vaccines.

Yet now we see the second element in this. You see, the population on a global scale is getting wearier and less trusting of vaccines. It is a $26 billion market and is expected to grow to $61 billion in the next 3 years. We are confronted with flu vaccines and there is no clear proof or documentation that they are actually a benefit. Even as the 60’s were a clear indication that the foundation of vaccines was sound and essential, the movement of big pharma and the essential need for profit has given vaccines the place where it potentially leaves too bad a taste in the mouths of too many people. This is the place where Thimerosal finds itself in. Mistrusted because of the makers and mistrusted due to a lack of proper information and in similar size the massive misinformation that we now see on the lack of benefits that other medications (like Multi vitamins) find themselves in, and to some extent, the media has been too often, little to no help at all. To a larger extent, they are chasing facts, or not showing the dangers ahead of time in too many cases. At http://www.globalresearch.ca/big-pharma-and-big-profits-the-multibillion-dollar-vaccine-market/5503945, the Canadian Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) gives us “While the main fixation of anti-vaccine groups is an old, discredited study linking vaccination to autism, another is a conspiracy theory circulated online that both doctors and pharmaceutical companies stand to profit financially from vaccination—which supposedly leads to perverse incentives in advocating for the public to vaccinate. But that argument is historically unfounded. Not only do pediatricians and doctors often lose money on vaccine administration, it wasn’t too long ago that the vaccine industry was struggling with slim profit margins and shortages. The Economist wrote that “for decades vaccines were a neglected corner of the drugs business, with old technology, little investment and abysmal profit margins. Many firms sold their vaccine divisions to concentrate on more profitable drugs“, at this point I offer in opposition, if that was true, why would there be a sudden rush to get into vaccines? If certain diseases have been eradicated, would the need for vaccines not decrease? If the flu cannot be cured through vaccines, what is its benefit? Two question that have not been properly addressed ever. The press have remained on the surface too often and too long. There is too much profit in advertisements for the media, too many concessions and the people notice, the people at large deduce their own wisdom and facts in what they see. Are they wrong?

What is Thimerosal?

The National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS) gives the following Factsheet where we see “There is no evidence that thiomersal in vaccines has caused any health problems except minor reactions, such as redness at the injection site“, another fact shown, a part that seems to be ignored in a few points of visibility. It is “Methyl mercury is more potent; it accumulates in the body because the time taken for the body to eliminate it (known as the ‘half-life’) is about 50 days. Ethyl mercury (in thiomersal) does not accumulate in the body to such an extent, because its half-life is only about 7–10 days“, the dangerous side I was aware of, or the danger I perceived is not a factor here.

  • Thimerosal is also known as thiomersal, hence the quotes from different sources have these two names.

Now we get the issue that is also a cause for concern and it is not the controversial accusation of autism. The issue is that if we accept the initial fact, then why are we given “the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) asked vaccine makers to remove thiomersal from vaccines as quickly as possible as a precautionary measure“, when we look (at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/1/149) the quote “Overwhelmingly, the evidence collected over the past 15 years has failed to yield any evidence of significant harm, including serious neurodevelopmental disorders, from use of thimerosal in vaccines“, personally I would love to see that data! There is also “Dozens of studies from countries around the world have supported the safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines. Specifically, the Institute of Medicine, and others have concluded that the evidence favours rejection of a link between thimerosal and autism“. The AAP publications show 7 links to academic papers confirming this.

There is also: “Although there are clear neurotoxic effects of methyl mercury absorption, ethyl mercury has not been associated with those consequences“, so one mercury is not another, yet how deep has this been investigated? As we see that ethyl mercury might have been a massive push for the profitability that vaccines became, there is still the question on the need for vaccines. I am not debating that the larger good exist, that evidence was given in the Netherlands, a place where Measles suddenly resurfaced, in a place where vaccination was rejected on religious reasons. As we reject ‘en mass’ to a larger extent on flu-vaccines and on the pharmaceuticals that need too much profit and as it is seen by many at the expense of them all.

Projection, publication against the interpreted fear and rejection through despise of the pharmaceutical community.

Yet in all this thimerosal is just an element, the actual vaccine in all this is the MMR vaccine. Robert De Niro did not oppose the MMR vaccine, just the use of thimerosal. When it comes to vaccines, there is one paper that does have an impact. It is a paper by Ami Schattner published in 2005 called ‘Consequence or coincidence?: The occurrence, pathogenesis and significance of autoimmune manifestations after viral vaccines‘, which could be seen as alarming (at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X05003506) giving us “Very few patients may develop some autoimmune diseases following viral vaccination (in particular — arthropathy, vasculitis, neurological dysfunction and thrombocytopenia). For the overwhelming majority of people, vaccines are safe and no evidence linking viral vaccines with type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS) or inflammatory bowel disease can be found“, with the emphasis on “The occurrence and significance of autoimmune manifestations after the administration of viral vaccines remain controversial“. Now, if you picked up on it, you will state that Autism is not an autoimmune disease, then you are right. Now for my speculation in this part, if the creation of a Immune system disorders is rare, I am speculating that the creation of autism through vaccination is even more rare than that. A vaccine is the introduction of a disease to the body, so the immune system is actually directly attacked. If that does not abnormally react, the consideration that another disease like Autism, which is a neuro developmental disorder seems extremely unlikely unless the vaccine was specifically for a neuro based disease, and at present it seems less and less likely that it is the case.

An escalation that we are confronted with all due to a fraudulent paper from Andrew Wakefield et al, who decided that 1998 was a good year to misrepresent facts and opposing the MMR vaccine in support of a competing vaccine. It would be my speculated assumption that greed got in the way of his better angels and more likely than not, to an even larger extent by that competing brand as well. It is that competitive approach, with support of a former academic that the mistrust has grown in the people, especially the parents on a global scale. There it is that we find thimerosal, removed in many places as a mere precaution. That against a large supported foundation that thimerosal is not dangerous. So does this make the view of Robert De Niro incorrect?

No!

I believe that he is asking valid question, in addition, let it be sad that his view as stated: ‘he just wants a safer way to prevent diseases‘ is a noble one, especially in an age where the profit needs are pushed through too often and too fast. Procon.org gives us (at http://prescriptiondrugs.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=005528) a list of 35 FDA approved drugs that were later pulled from the market. This includes Accutane that was on the market for 27 years, Cylert for 30 years and Darvon & Darvocet for 55 years. Now, we have to accept that the tests then were not on a level we have nowadays, yet when we read the effect of serious toxicity to the heart, with a death toll of well over 2100 deaths between 1981 and 1999, there is an issue and as such, the request from Robert De Niro is not that outrageous. In opposition we see that the overall testing is a lot better, and if there is enough support that the half-life of Ethyl mercury is 7-10 days, there should be clear warnings with using it, but if there is enough support for the safety, what is the problem? I see it to some extent in ‘does not accumulate in the body to such an extent‘, to what extent does it accumulate? That is the serious question that needs a clear answer. Are there exceptions? Is there an issue to the parts that do accumulate? Questions that are not available at present (as far as I can tell), so in all this Robert De Niro is asking the right question and it gives concern, because is the AAP consideration we see in ‘removing thimerosal use in preservatives as a precautionary measure‘ also a misrepresentation? Is it a precaution, or was this released in 2013, in the time of the Obama Administration, voiced as such to prevent an anti-vaccine panic from happening?

Is that so far out of bounds? The problem is that for the most the media does not have the knowledge, the many who do have the knowledge tend to work for pharmaceutical companies, or they work for government installations working for politicians who depend on the support of pharmaceuticals. It seems that in no way will the people be more likely than not be properly and correctly informed, that part has been proven for almost two decades.

The only part that worries me is that in the end, it is the $100K payment from Robert De Niro for the media to take an optional serious (opposition) stand. When you google FDA you see very little actual news, when you Google Pharmaceuticals you get loads of news, and 99% linked to awards, pricing, acquisition and profit performance. This is exactly why the people are getting less and less trusting of pharmaceutical companies. It is not merely a marketing thing, it is a distrust that comes from several paths of information.

Here we get to Vexxed, a movie by no one else than the debunked and fraud driven Andrew Wakefield who became writer director of the movie after he was gutted in court. A five-member statutory tribunal of the GMC found three dozen charges proven, this was on 28th January 2010. It includes 4 counts of dishonesty. In addition the panel ruled that Wakefield had “failed in his duties as a responsible consultant” which tends to be a very serious charge. The 1998 publication was, on the findings of the GMC’s, noting that elements of the manuscript had been falsified, fully retracted.

The fear the paper brought by Andrew Wakefield have had consequences, a false paper that led to vaccine mistrust and resulting in serious illness and deaths, which now beckons the question, if this result repeats after the movie, can Andrew Wakefield be arrested and convicted of murder? The paper has issues that there was no intent to endanger lives, but the movie is a repeat of the previous event, intent can be the natural acceptance of a repeated fact. The issue I see is that pharmaceutical companies have actively created waves of mistrust fuelling the existence of conspiracy theories, the movie Vaxxed could be seen as such. I have not seen the movie, so I am keeping an open mind, yet the truth is that I am a child of vaccines in the old age, in this new age, where it is less about health, and more about profit, the voice of conspiracy theorists might have valid views. I say again ‘might’, I wonder how these people look at a movie like Contagion, the masterpiece of Steven Soderbergh who shows in a fictional setting the nightmare that the CDC faces in an ongoing fight to find solutions of some of the most contagious and in some cases still incurable diseases. I reckon that if you feel you want the truth, seeing Vaxxed, whilst never seeing Contagion will never ever get you the truth. Because the fear we see in Contagion was a reality after WW2. Millions in a weakened state and diseases like the measles were running freely all over the world, now we see statistics from 1980 with 851,849 European cases, to 16,899 cases in 2014, a clear decrease due to the vaccine regime of the 50’s and 60’s. Now see a mortality rate of 0.1% – 0.2%, whilst in 1900 the mortality rate in the US was 4% for measles. Smallpox in the periods 1900-1904, had a mortality rate of around 11.5%, we can claim (to some extent) that even though there were mitigating circumstances (like hygiene), vaccinations have been a great success. There is little to no opposing debate on that.

So how is this for the MMR vaccine and thiomersal?

This is the issue that Robert De Niro is raising and in addition to him raising this he is asking very valid questions. It is however equally important that a person like Andrew Wakefield should not be taken at his word. This is not merely him versus the world, when you look at all the information, the competitor he promoted remained silent for all this time as far as I have been able to ascertain, there was no open outrage of this competitor coming with academics showing valid numbers in opposition of the tribunal findings, in addition no evidence that there was a danger, that part has never ever been shown. Did the news dig there, did we get a clear low down from the World Health Organisation (WHO)? Is it that far-fetched that as the Andrew Wakefield scandal caused an increase in morbidity due to lower vaccinations that both the WHO and the CDC would have a clear need to intervene with facts? Are these questions so strange?

In that same part we see the Huffington Post in 2014 giving us, via columnist Lawrence Solomon quotes like “Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, is facing a slew of controversies over its Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine following numerous allegations of wrongdoing from different parties in the medical field, including two former Merck scientists-turned-whistle-blowers. A third whistle-blower, this one a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control, also promises to bring Merck grief following his confession of misconduct involving the same MMR vaccine“, from that point of view, the moment Vexxed was announced, the CDC should have a clear voice stating the issues (if there are any) regarding the MMR vaccine, in equal measure, if Lawrence Solomon is ‘merely’ a columnist, why this news did not make it to the front pages on a global scale, and if this was not true, why did the Huffington Post run with it? (at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/merck-whistleblowers_b_5881914.html), it even has links with the court documents, which is even more of a concern.

In conclusion I need to state that if we accept that the Andrew Wakefield disaster came with deaths when the paper was published, the deaths that could be proven to stem from Vexxed require the courts on a global scale to indict Andrew Wakefield with attempted murder for those who get sick and murder for those who die due to non-vaccination. This is not a ‘maybe’ or a ‘freedom of speech’ issue. When it causes the intentional deaths of others it is murder, plain and simple!

As for Robert De Niro, he does make a case to get medical solutions to the people in a safer way, but which way cannot be stated, because it is a track that takes a long time, he has the option to get the support of the media and the medical profession to take another really serious look at thiomersal. I still had questions and next to Robert De Niro, I am the clever one (read: nothing wrong with my ego)!

This gets us to the final part that the Washington Post gave us in May 2016. The quote “create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data“, which we basically covered earlier, yet to see it this harsh is still important and it changes the taste of the movie by a lot. In here we also see “Actor Robert De Niro, who has an autistic son, originally lobbied to put the film on the schedule for the Tribeca Film Festival in March. But several days later, he said he had a change of heart“, which is another matter, in that that his questions and the fact that he puts up $100K is still valid, perhaps even more valid. It is my interest that gets piqued with “Dozens of top journals — including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders — have published papers that looked into a possible link and found none“, with the part that the visibility of all this has not been that high, it is my believe that whomever puts the Robert De Niro story out (as it is valid news) should also show all links to these journals, because as it is, Andrew Wakefield gets, due to the global scepticism of pharmaceuticals, a little too much consideration.

So as we gave the smallest consideration for the other side, we must give vision to what is an actual solution for the children of the world, in that the questions of Robert De Niro remain valid, we need to get solution to the people in a safer way and some questions regarding thimerosal remain, perhaps the journalists who are vetting to get a $100K bonus will take another look and answer those questions too. It is not some conspiracy theory thing, it is merely how the AAP decided to voice it, not wrong, just in a way that left us with questions.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Politics, Science

Rephrasing a Minder

Politics tends to be filled full of weird and crazy people, from my point of view those people tend to be members of the Labour party. That view got a new light in the article ‘Labour calls for closer scrutiny of tech firms and their algorithms‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/18/labour-calls-for-regulation-of-algorithms-used-by-tech-firms). Now, there are two sides to any equation, so let me give you the two that I have.

1. I believe that tech companies have been facilitators for too long, many will not accept any responsibility for way too much. On the other side, I do believe that the only working internet is a free one. So when I read the words from Shadow minister Chi Onwurah, I honestly did not regard her to be anything more than a person seeking the limelight. It is equally important to realise that she is using last week’s amazon debacle in Scotland, with questions how that relates to regulating algorithm, it’s a mere application of employment law, is it not?

From the quote: “The outcomes of algorithms are regulated – the companies which use them have to meet employment law and competition law. The question is, how do we make that regulation effective when we can’t see the algorithm?” I feel slightly cautious to call Chi Onwurah a joke, there is a chance that some of this was lost in translation, if not, she has a larger problem to deal with. That problem will be clearly visible when she decided to look into a mirror. So why to look at my point of view?

You see, there are no regulations on algorithms, they are basically formulas with a solution. In addition she states: “greater scrutiny of the mathematical formulas that now control everything from the tailored news served to Facebook members to the speed at which workers are required to move around an Amazon warehouse“. I think that we need to look a little closer at the last statement. You see, it is highly likely that any staff members would need to meet a certain amount of jobs for shipment and delivery. Yet how feasible is that requirement? I can’t tell from the description that was given a week ago, too many variables missing, that does not make the approach regulated. Yet like in any job, workers have ‘responsibilities’, yet more important, they have rights. These are clearly set in most countries of the Commonwealth, so how does that equate to apparent regulated algorithms.

2. The openness of any system will silently advocate the abuse of it. A not so good example was given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/04/google-democracy-truth-internet-search-facebook), where we see ‘Google, democracy and the truth about internet search‘. We get Carole Cadwalladr with the quote ‘and this was Google’s answer: Jews are evil. Because there, on my screen, was the proof: an entire page of results, nine out of 10 of which “confirm” this‘, which started with typing 7 letters ‘are Jews’, which is an issue from character one onward. She then tries to dilute the issues by setting the image of the search of ‘are women evil’, probably to ease the tension, but the damage is done, short-sighted (as I see it) she continues. So whilst she wastes two paragraphs on titles of the slightly anti-Semitic nature, which she then sets in an atmosphere as “I feel like I’ve fallen down a wormhole, entered some parallel universe where black is white, and good is bad. Though later, I think that perhaps what I’ve actually done is scraped the topsoil off the surface of 2016” and she ends with “This isn’t a secret Nazi cell lurking in the shadows. It’s hiding in plain sight“. As I personally see it, she is the person who has been standing behind an iron for most of her life and now she sees her first microwave, a cliché if I ever saw one.

You see, the article goes on for some time and there are really good parts in it too, although the spatial map is a bit of nerdy space we could have gone without, the issue I never see properly addressed is that the term ‘are women evil’ and on number one is a WordPress blog, literally with the link ‘sheddingoftheego.com/2015/06/25/are-women-evil/’ and the title ‘Are Women Evil?‘ literally a perfect match for what the person was seeking. Google worked perfectly. What is ignored and what influences many sights, especially on how Google Rankings are influenced. Now Google has a way to counter it, yet this is not immediately done and it is not perfect either. Places like Reddit are actively working on posting whatever they need to raise their ranking and the rankings of their customers. It is interesting that the Guardian, the Huffington Post and Forbes take absolutely ZERO time to explain the games that SEO’s are playing to influence ranking through scripts. because it is in the end what someone was seeking for, yet the fact that this is the direct value for SEO’s and terms like ‘Tips on how to improve your website’s ranking on Google’s search engine results’ were also ignored in these articles giving rise to the one sided and unbalanced view the press is giving, whilst those in the digital media all know that this is done and those who are doing it usually have a massive tag list ready to add to EVERY story they write.

So when we see the quote “Many search results are now reinforcing extreme views, with articles denying the holocaust or disparaging women increasingly appearing at the top of the rankings“, we need to wonder Chi Onwurah should even be allowed to be Shadow Minister of Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, or Just the elected MP for Sesame Street. By the way, what I did not know is that this department is also responsible in the area of Intellectual Property, so if Labour ever wins, we need to get scared fast.

So getting back to the MP in my sights, it is important for her to realise not just what a google search does and what it shows, but the elements that influence it and what happens under the real guise and the influenced guise of what people are looking for. By the way, her article acted for possible millions of additional clicks, because she raised the issue, whilst not raising the alert of how the numbers get influenced. So, as we go down the article, we do need to stop at a part that matters a lot. This is seen in the quote “Social media platforms are being blamed for allowing the spread of misinformation and online abuse, conditions which some argue are fuelling the resurgence of extreme politics in America and western Europe“, which is a fair point, yet as bullies and trolls can hide behind the freedom of speech without accountability, there is little chance of this changing, in addition, this isn’t a transgression from 68 million people in the UK, it is the search result and interaction of billions of internet users on the planet, so as there is no localised situation, misinformation and online abuse remains. In addition, as Chi Onwurah should clearly realise, when we see webpages with quotes like ‘Millions of People Are Cancelling Their Netflix Account Because Of This One Site‘, whilst the link looks like a cookie 2 miles long, all set to improve visibility. The media at large, including the UK make use of professional cookie, tags and ranking strategies and all kinds of advertisement counters, so when she is talking about regulations, setting anchors against the exploitative use of cookies might not be the worst idea. In addition to that thought, whilst labour was in office, they did zero to get the tax accountability rolling on corporations, so to see this quote “need to take responsibility for the unintended consequences of the algorithms and machine learning that drive their profits” in the reality of the law (the act of facilitation), she needs to realise that her statement is empty and hollow to say the least. So when we see “we need a tech-savvy government to minimise the downside by opening up algorithms to regulation as well as legislating for greater consumer ownership of data and control of the advertising revenue it generates“, she is not unreal, she is utterly unrealistic for even considering to open up that tar pit, because once we see that regulation come to ground, the economic algorithms are the first one we will have a go at and at that point, when that reality comes knocking, she will soon be the loneliest politician in the history of the UK. In addition, is it not interesting how Bing was not mentioned once in all of this? Why is that Chi Onwurah? Basically this is an act of discrimination, however let’s not nit-pick in an article that is already shoddy in several ways.

The software engineering reality (historically speaking) is that the Google search results and Google ranking was filed in 1998 with a priority in 1997. Lawrence Page realised that the content on the internet would be growing exponentially and as others were concentrating on corporations and corporate views the founders of Google looked at a much bigger picture, so finding anything would sooner rather than later become a massive issue.

In an age when the ‘great’ internet companies were about image and looking cool, Google started to get professional. In the days of Yahoo, Yahoo was the search engine of choice. Alta Vista, later Excite and a few others were garbage from week 1 whilst never catching up in any novel way. Yahoo started in 1994 and they were leaders for a while, and in the 90’s as Yahoo grew its value, they started to lag behind. Now the irony is that Yahoo got started at Stanford and the Google rank patent was designed and invented at Stanford too. By the time someone started to ask the right questions it was already too late and the Google patent for ranking gave them exclusivity which will last a little while longer, but others are now considering the consequence that Google Rank patent will still be in effect when G5 starts, as the issue of ranking is still growing near exponentially as more and more files are added and with G5 it will take on an additional dimension.

now we see the issues that are brought to the foreground in what I regard as a half-baked shadow ministers approach, asking ‘questions’ and implying regulations, all this whilst a below par informed level of knowledge is shown in the articles they set to press. One of the issues is actually shown in one paragraph in the Huffington Post “Finally—and this is the key point—even without human intervention, Google’s algorithm, while doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, routinely boosts one candidate higher in search rankings simply because of normal “organic” search activities“, which is the cornerstone. As we know, organic search (what you type in the google search bar) is used, yet what happened when this is done through scripting? What if a few of the 200 parameters gets influenced from outside though scripted actions, again and again? That part was never clearly mentioned, but it is the bread and butter of nearly every SEO, to get the position and ranking of their clients to the very top, in every possible way and method and the shadow minister does not give any visibility to it, the visibility it requires and deserves.

That is the flaw in all this and this is the need to rephrase a minder, a minder who as I saw it never understood the plot, or she did know and she was misinforming the readers to some extent, yet how much requires misinformation and was that not what she was accusing social media of? So as we await Labours industrial paper, we will have a few more options to have fun of labour especially as they define supervision whilst again not getting any results in proper corporate tax legislation, not even as suggested proper corporate tax legislation.

taxformulaSo should we see the taxation algorithm for large firms where x is the taxable amount, b is revenue and a is tax deductible options, you know that it is not just the regulations of algorithms she got wrong.

 

I’ll let you decide.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Law, Media, Politics

In opposition

I have been waiting for the dust to settle a little. I predicted the dangers of Brexit 2 years ago. Even if there was no guarantee it would happen, the danger was realistic. Only the most naive person would be able to sit down and claim it was never a reality. Too much issues have been ignored and shoved under a bridge where no one will look. The reality is that people were looking and the tainted waters were there for all to see. As a conservative it is also my need to call on my party to wake up. The first rude awakening is seen in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2016/jun/28/brexit-live-cameron-eu-leaders-brussels-corbyn-confidence). You see, the title is the first issue “‘It was not our responsibility’ to have plan for leaving EU, says Osborne“, in that part I state, ‘No, George, it is most certainly your responsibility!‘ and that realisation needs to hit you all sooner rather than later. No matter how we got here and no matter that it was UKIP pushing this cart, the fact that 51% of the British population has no confidence in the EU makes it for the governing party a must to address and the Governor of the Bank of England has given several reports regarding the consequences of Brexit, two of them that are not shown to the public at large, one of them for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, also known as George Osborne. He will have a hard task ahead, but governing is about challenges and meeting them, so the response ‘It was not our responsibility’ should be regarded as incorrect.

I wonder if I should put myself up for election, would people vote for me? I would run as a conservative, yet that is not a problem, I like a challenge, because no matter what UKIP thinks, it is most certainly not ready to govern the UK and governing is what is required in the stormy seas that will require navigating the next 3-7 years. You see, the economy will take a hit, but finding new ways to grow is where the challenge is and success will give new strength to the phrase ‘Rule Britannia!

You see, there is a lot wrong and some of this is due to political ego. The strongest examples are Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron. The biggest loser in that regard is clearly Jeremy Corbyn. Not because we was unable to achieve a Bremain result, but because the issues in play have been around for a lot longer than he is and as such he has done little to nothing to address these issues. When we see the Independent state ‘The Labour leader called on people to unite together to oppose racism but did not address the challenge to his leadership’, one must wonder if Jeremy Corbyn had a clue to begin with. Let me explain this, because this is not some anti-Corbyn event. The quote ““Can we all agree we are going to unite together as one people, one society, one community, to oppose racism?” he asked the crowd. “Don’t let the people who wish us ill divide us,” he said“, this is where we have the issue. You see, as I see it, Brexit was NEVER about racism. I have addressed the issues on many occasions and whilst there will always be some with racist tendencies, the massive issue was the economy, blatant overspending and a Status Quo driven EU parliament who was eagerly spending other people’s money. The fact that Jeremy did not address this issue is one of the reasons why this went tits up!

I have mentioned it for the better part of a year and I am not the sharpest tool in the tool chest. So if I can see it, why can’t he? It is also not a mystery that the Bremain power is in the big cities, places that overspend and need that credit line to continue, the credit card users (especially in London) will be the biggest losers, which makes them the strongest supporters of Bremain, but also a minority. The addressed issue could have propelled the Labour party, of course they were the biggest wasters of budgets in the last two administrations, so they would not be able to shout it the loudest.

The other losing party is Tim Farron. Now, I would almost give him a pass (I did say almost), but as the leader of the Liberal Democrats he needs to address what the people want, what the people need and seeing the words ‘Lib Dems to pledge British return to EU in next general election‘ is almost too pathetic for words. His failing strategy is not addressing the issues at hand. The Guardian map clearly shows it (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2016/jun/23/eu-referendum-live-results-and-analysis), the simplest example (Sandwell), it is so labour that the only game that the two conservatives can pull off is a game of Ping Pong between the two of them. There is not a racism issue, there is a massive problem with trust towards the EU and the non-Grexit is only one of three massive pillars that gave Brexit the power is needed. Let’s get back to Tim Farron. You see, if he wants to have any decent chance he needs to become his own main man, he needs to become a leader, undoing issues whilst not comprehending the fallout will get a person a clear vote of ‘no confidence’ soon thereafter. He should grow the LibDems and weirdly enough it is by actually talking to the conservatives on tactics. He cannot become a ‘conservative lackey’ as Nick Clegg has been accused of being in the past. He needs to become a strong voice within the Lib Dems by learning what ails people and by adjusting his vision to what the people need. You see, that works out in two ways for me. Where ever Labour and Conservatives were, UKIP did not achieve victory where the Lib Dems were a stronger option. There is a lot of terrain they lost, but there are options of winning them back, which can only be achieved if Tim Farron shows himself to be a leader. The evidence (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2015/may/07/live-uk-election-results-in-full), area’s like Newbury, Horsham, Dorset North, Stockport & Luton, places where Tim can grow the Lib Dems by chiselling away on UKIP. Yet, he needs to realise that the people voted because they have issues, mostly with the economy and the irresponsible acts of the EU. Until they are really addressed, the quote ‘return to EU‘ would more likely become the beginning of a joke at his expense than an election promise that has any level of realism.

Are there more losers? Well, that is a matter of perspective. You see, the SNP needs to wake up and realise that being in any EU whilst you cannot hold your economy above water will be the fastest way to diminish one’s self towards irrelevancy. Even if we give a little weight towards the words of Nicola Sturgeon in the Huffington Post, the phrase “a vacuum of leadership” applies to Nicola as much as the other political players. Like Nicola there is Angus Robertson, who according to the Financial Times (at https://next.ft.com/content/8c0588c9-22f3-3f98-a424-4a0a9dd53a18) stated “We have no intention whatsoever of seeing Scotland taken out of Europe. That would be totally, totally democratically unacceptable. We are a European country and we will stay a European country“, well you are still part of Europe, just not part of the EU. So, the man is not the brightest. In addition, Angus seems to have his head screwed on backwards. You see, I was always in favour of growing an independent Scotland, but at present they have no way of doing so. The simple issue is that Scotland cannot make ends meet, if they were independent, they would soon grow into the poorest one in Europe. Angus forgets that UK money is finding Scotland for a fair bit, until they can address this and grow a surplus budget without using the oil funds, than we should reconsider Scotland. They have either missed opportunities or ignored them altogether. It is not for me to say and we can all understand that Nicola Sturgeon is focussed on a Scottish Scotland, but at present we have seen that Scotland cannot make it on their own. So when we realise that we see that Angus and Nicola are whistling a tune that no one can dance to. It is dangerous! Now, if the change allows to grow economic opportunity in Scotland, than that would get my undivided attention, but for now, that is not happening. Giving rise to the question, ‘where should Scotland go‘, which is a fair enough question, the fact that the answer is ‘nowhere soon’ is equally a fact and the two political players should have realised this before going into speech mode and they should have moved into lecturing mode by making the people around them more informed and seeking options, not obstacles. Because in that regard, the UK could still be massively helpful.

So here I stand, in opposition of what is settling. We see in equal terms the issues now playing in France. An issue I partially predicted, with one exception. The fact that Frexit sentiment is growing faster than I predicted is not all due to Brexit. The news (at https://www.rt.com/news/348422-hollande-rejects-frexit-referendum/) gives rise to more issues. You see, the quote ‘President Francois Hollande has firmly rejected calls for a referendum on leaving the EU‘ might be fair, but what about the alternative? You see, at present will over 62% in France now wants a referendum. It was initially mentioned by Front National and this is all about Marine Le Pen, but the French people are growing the need for their own EU referendum. The fact that it is vastly above 50% gives rise that in France not all is well and not dealing with it is the biggest mistake President Francois Hollande could make. On the other hand, the French have a nice history on what to do with political puppets so this event could grow its own nice little tail. Whether it is a nice or a nightmare one remains to be seen. Brexit might be triggering a few other counts, the fact is that the EU has played a dangerous game for too long and people are walking out.

In all this, we see that some are now going for petitions regarding a second EU referendum, wasting more time, more money and more resources, whilst the EU refuses to clean its act up. It refuses to temper overspending and refuses to hold over spenders to account. Greece is small fry in that ocean, all this because the clearest of evidence is ignored.

There is an issue with the EU and their flaccid dealings with the national responsibility of its nations and we can no longer afford to be a part of such mismanagement. That should have been clear for the longest of times, the fact that the press skates around it also implies that denial is part of a larger problem, one that made the people rise and vote Brexit. Making that mistake twice is one that could break the British economy. So do not give in to the whims of Wall Street, block it from all your data streams and decide for yourself, what is the best use of your time?

Because I am not convinced that it can be found within the EU at present. Oh and for those Liberal Democrats not thinking it through, consider that when the UK gets back to the EU and France leaves it (something that is very likely at present), the mess you create at that point will be one that cannot be resolved, you will actually kill the UK economy.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

Is it just me?

The Guardian had an interesting article yesterday. For me it is interesting because I might not be getting it. You see, in my mind, certain issues are clear as water. Pink is pink and Green is green (avoiding a Black & White issue). So when I read ‘Bill forcing people to prove nationality slammed as discriminatory‘. So when we see the quote “The Conservatives want to give police and immigration officers the power to order people who have been arrested to state their nationality and require those believed to be foreign nationals to produce their nationality documents, such as a passport. Failure to do so within 72 hours would become a criminal offence under the policing and crime bill currently going through parliament“, I saw no issue, or perhaps better stated, not a large one. The question initially is how far does ‘such as a passport’ go?

Not everyone has a passport, or the means to quickly get one. So ‘such as’ should allow for a little bit of leniency. So when I saw the defence “But concerns have been raised by civil liberties groups, as well as some immigration and policing experts, that people will be targeted because of how they look, their accent and their skin colour“. Is that all they have? The UK has a fluctuating amount of immigrants. The numbers tend to be around the 750K, which gives us that 1.1% is in the UK illegally, impacting the British way of life. Something needs to be done and by far the illegal part is not from Sweden, the Netherlands or Ireland, but from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. So how are accent, colour and skin tones not valid reasons?

This is not about discrimination, this is about finding illegal visitors.

In my view, going from “Sara Ogilvie, policy officer at Liberty, the civil rights organisation, said: “The only grounds on which police could decide someone might not be British are their appearance and their accent, so the very basis of this policy is discrimination“, I would state that Sara Ogilvie has lost the plot. Ideology in a time where nations go bankrupt because of overprotection against those who do not respect or abide by law, how can those laws be just? How can this work? The reason why the UK is willing to dump the Human Rights Act because it has become an anchor that protects the transgressors and blocks the victims as well as the prosecutors. How are Civil Rights valid, when they are used by criminals and transgressors to secure their activities?

The second quote “The government aims to remove as many foreign national offenders (FNOs) as quickly as possible to their home countries, to protect the public, to reduce costs and to free up spaces in prison” is equally damning, but now towards the government. You see, the part “Foreign nationals comprise 12% of the prison population in England and Wales“. The issue here becomes less about the FNO’s, it becomes the issue of establishing his real identity. Still, the quote “successful identification is particularly difficult where an individual is not carrying a document at the time of arrest” remains true and the additional quote “Making it a criminal offence for a person arrested to fail to produce a passport on demand or state a nationality is unnecessary, heavy handed and carries its own risks. A police officer need only suspect a person is not a British citizen to demand a passport” remains in opposition. Why is there such an opposition against identifying one’s self? I am not against a right of privacy, is it however such a stretch to require to identify one’s self to be able to hide behind this right of privacy?

I am taking intentionally this chicken and the egg view for a very simple reason, the law applies to the established population, a British one!

Now, I am aware that my approach is equally flawed to some extent. Yet to some extent the overprotection of the populous has impacted that the bulk of criminals are better protected than the rest or the victims. The Huffington Post stated it in an interesting way in the headline “‘Human Rights Have Become Dirty Words’: Lord Anthony Lester On The Five Things We Should Fight For“, which is close to the heart of the matter, Human Rights have become dirty words, that is not an imagination, in equal measure we ignore one bit, you see Lord Lester writes in his new book ‘Five Ideas To Fight For’, the need to fight for human rights, equality, free speech, privacy and rule of law. I do not disagree with Lord Lester, yet the fact that these elements have proven in the past to be more protective to the criminals and transgressors than the population at large as well as the victims of criminals and transgressors remains a fact too. Legislators have done too little to protect victims at large and hid behind what is a legal act of humanity and not on the rule of law to protect victims.

Lord Lester has additional info (at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/human-rights-act-lord-lester_uk_571f9574e4b06bf544e0ce6f), the article states: “Lester does not believe the public share the media’s loathing of the HRA. As a Lib Dem member of the Bill of Rights Commission, he took part in two public consultations, travelling across the country to hold seminars, conferences and debates“, I personally believe that this is not correct. As the British way of life was decimated, the quality of life has been drained to below the minimum, there are plenty who are abandoning several Acts if that changes things for them. The press is part of the problem as they have been ‘illuminating’ events for maximum effect, drama and circulation by not truly informing people. That applies to well over 90% of all papers.

So where is the solution?

To protect Human Rights, to protect a humane way of life requires legislation to be adjusted to set forth and set on the first need, the victims, under a rule of law where victims and not transgressors are set in a first light. The Human Rights Acts became folly when it set the victims and criminals on the same level, with equal rights. That level was the first folly to undo a century of growth. The HRA is only the first step. Turkey is throwing fuel on the fire in several ways. Now that the EU has buckled like a wet tissue, we get ‘EU conditionally backs visa-free travel for Turkey, unveils asylum changes’, which ABC released yesterday. The first quote that will unleash hell is “The European Commission also unveiled an overhaul of its asylum system under which member states that refuse to take a quota of refugees will be fined“, this implies that self-governing is no longer an option, or only an option at a price. A forced ruling that could bankrupt anyone. An initial layer of protection could be to reinstate capital punishment. That gives governments the options that those who transgress beyond acceptable levels are put to death or incarcerated for all time. That is the part that these Human Rights Activists refuse to accept. The need for accountability in Bankers and Beggars alike, Residents and Refugees held to one account!

In my view, my personal opinion, I reckon that this act should be decently enough to push the British population to a level where we see a stronger push towards Brexit. The quote “Turkey has threatened to tear up the March agreement to take back asylum who cross the Aegean Sea to Greece if the EU fails to keep its promise to allow Turks to travel without visas to the Schengen area by the end of June” completes the deal. A nation that with the population of 78 million has a GDP that is at least 10% less than the Netherlands who achieves the same with a population 78% smaller. I will ignore the corruption and criminal indexes, places where Turkey does not score well, what is more important is the dangers that Turkey represents. The Greek refugee pressures due to corruption or utter inability of the Turkish government to stop refugees and smugglers. A nation bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria. That is the nation who is receiving free passage into Europe, whilst it has shown to be untrustworthy on several occasions?

 

If would amount to giving the European presidency to the Norwegian Hel, daughter of Loki, which in light of the flaccid politicians on a near global scale seems such a well-adjusted truth. In all fairness if this comes to blows than Norway would be one of the few nations left in Europe, for how long is an entirely different question.

So how wrong is my view?

I will forever work from a setting where I am wrong, for the mere reason that not digging and critically opposing my own view is the only way to find a balanced conclusion. You see, the BBC reported that ‘EU referendum: Turkey joining EU ‘not remotely on cards’, says PM‘ is not incorrect, yet when refugees are combined with millions of Turks start looking for a ‘better’ solution and the Turks get the legal run of the land? How many infrastructures will collapse within mere months? That fear is clearly over illuminated, including by me. I do not believe I am instilling fear, but instilling reality (don’t we all claim that same thing?).

Consider the parts I mentioned. Not just now, but over the past few months. Europe has failed the UK and other nations for a convoluted image that has no bearing on reality, whilst the coffers that would support any life resembling this have been drained by people who will walk away from that Europe and await until this generation rips itself apart, Which does not seem to be too realistic a view, I will immediately admit to that, yet as we see how ‘taxable’ dollars move away, whilst politicians remain unable to change anything, other than emotional posturing. How much taxation has been collected?

The Mossack Fonseca case has shown the following, in the Times of Malta we see “The Times of Malta is informed that Adrian Hernan Dixon Sanchez, who has been in Malta since the opening of Mossack’s representative office in May 2013, tendered his resignation last week. He was immediately replaced by two other directors, Juergen Mossack Herzog and Ramon Fonseca Mora – both residing in Panama“, in addition we see that over the last month the people seem taken aback, some quit, some moved on, but there are no actions coming any day soon. You see all the emotional posturing sounds nice, but so far NO ONE reported on any crimes, there is no evidence and due to the hack, most ‘evidence’ would end up being non admissible. All that press coverage wasted on an issue that is unlikely to go anywhere. We see quotes like ‘what you need to know‘ and ‘Mossack Fonseca was a hack waiting to happen’, all emotion, too little facts. Even the way the hack was done remains a mystery. We see more links to Sony and how Cyber threats are a thing of today, yet in all this, such precision is either from the inside or requires hardware only large governments can access. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is fact. You see, the other option is that Mossack Fonseca became reckless. Reckless on a multibillion dollar environment. I will let you decide! Just consider Greece and the near 2100 wealthy people who siphoned billions away from Greece. In those 3 years, how many taxable billions came back to lighten the load of Greece?  A nation only weeks away from the next debt crises. I will admit that the last one has additional pressures from Refugees, but clearly there are no solutions in sight, with or without refugees!

Why is this last part added?

You see, whatever humane path is to be trodden, it will require massive funds, funds that are nowhere available to be taxed. Corporations played the politicians so that legislation never happened. Now most governments have no funds to deal with even the smallest required refugee option. That is at the core of the problem and many people are seeing the rains come, this fuels Brexit. In that same light the UK could end up dropping the Human Rights Act. There is enough doubt on whether it will truly happen, but overall the Human Rights Advocates remain ideological in an age where pragmatism is called for. I believe that to be a massive reason for the swing we are seeing.

I could be wrong and it could just be me!

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Ronald McDonald died!

Today’s event is not from the papers, not from some newscast and not from some special operations guide. This is just me, having a few dollars in my pocket and at some point I was hungry as hell. I needed some food, desperately. So, as I was passing by McDonald’s I made the bad call to enter that place, I had passed Hungry Jacks for the simple reason that the queue looked way too long there, it was lunchtime after all. Now, Macca’s was never the cheapest of places and when we take a look at their website we see that it is all about ‘the message’, it has always been about the ‘message’, but how should we react when we see their quote: ‘Quality ingredients for quality food’. The ingredients do not mention bacon, perhaps there are no quality requirements for bacon?

When looking at their menu, the triple cheeseburgers is not even mentioned, so again, perhaps there are no quality requirements for that ‘food option’?

What brought this about? Well, as the images show, I ordered a triple cheeseburger and as I like a cheeseburger to have some bacon, I decided to add bacon to that order, added $1. Seemed a little large, but, I was hungry, so as the receipt shows, my lunch $6.50.  FoodReceipt
My lunch got served, here we have the kicker, look at the size of that….Whatever that was. Take a look, I used my middle finger, just to show how the burger is barely a finger long (honestly!) and we have to be fair and take the longest finger. So, even though it is called a triple cheeseburger with bacon, it looks like finger food, one finger squared, just one piece of finger food at $6.50.  Fingerfood

Now let’s take a look at the reality with the last part.

Take a look at that lovely bacon, a little less than $12 a Kilogram. Yes, all that bacon, whilst the piece shown in the previous picture is likely to be no more than 25 grams, so McDonald’s has a 400% margin (roughly) on bacon (likely more as they get a much better price deal then consumers do).  OinkyBacon

Now, for the most I have no issue with shops having margins, but consider that lately, we see an army of non-McDonald’s people make claims in many places (like the Huffington post) ‘Commenting in the New York Times Kyle Smith says that those opposing the idea of the McDouble’s nutritional worth, are ignoring the fact that it is great value-for-money for customers‘ (a 2013 article). Now for some cold logic, when a company offers an addition with a margin of over 400%, the idea ‘value for money‘ is something we can ignore from day one. In addition, when se see (at http://www.forbes.com/companies/mcdonalds/), stated to have a 92 billion market cap, with the ‘achievement’ #124 in Profit, we can again throw ‘value for money‘ into the wind. You see, value for money requires something to be well under 400% profitable to be allowed that title. I have nothing against Macca’s making money, for the most I never spend money there, so if others want to buy that food, than that is just fine with me. Value for money means a sizeable (or really cheap) portion. KFC with their deals lately (last month fries for $1 and this month 24 nuggets for $10), now that is actual ‘value’, not too nutritious, but still value. A burger the size of one finger squared is not good value, that is food at a higher price than the average tapas place would offer it (I consider Tapas to be actual finger food of decent quality) which is at times at least genuinely nutritious (as far as tapas can be nutritious).

You see, these ‘junk food vendors’ are now moving into another direction. Now we see a very dangerous development when papers, not just the Huffington post, where this quote came from (at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/30/mdonalds-mcdouble-cheapest-nutritious-food-in-history_n_3675128.html) state: “Junk food costs as little as $1.76 per 1,000 calories, whereas fresh veggies and the like cost more than 10 times as much, found a 2007 University of Washington survey for the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. A 2,000-calorie day of meals would, if you stuck strictly to the good-for-you stuff, cost $36.32, said the study’s lead author, Adam Drewnowski” You see, obesity and other problems tend to be caused by junk food, not by vegetables.

Professor Adam Drenowski knows this, hence it is my personal opinion that he has been misquoted in a massively unacceptable way. In his article ‘Obesity, diets, and social inequalities’ (attached at the end) we see “As incomes drop, energy-dense foods that are nutrient poor become the best way to provide daily calories at an affordable cost. By contrast, nutrient-rich foods and high-quality diets not only cost more but are consumed by more affluent groups“, in addition there is “given economic constraints, especially among lower income groups, not all consumers have the same degree of choice when it comes to purchasing healthful fresh produce, fruit, lean meats, and fish. For many, the choice was removed long ago by economic and employment policies“, which is what is at the heart of this (source: Wiley Online Library: Drewnowski, A. (2009), Obesity, diets, and social inequalities. Nutrition Reviews, 67: S36–S39. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00157.x).

You see News Corp (at http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/mcdonalds-sending-profits-to-singapore-to-dodge-497-million-in-tax-according-to-report/story-fnkgdftz-1227361248667) stated that ‘McDonald’s sending profits to Singapore to dodge $497 million in tax, according to report‘, the quote “McDonald’s uses its franchising model to generate most of its revenue through royalty payments which are then siphoned off into offshore tax subsidiaries, the majority of which it does not disclose in its annual reports” should not be a surprise, yet is McDonalds to blame? In the end business is business and if the population is unwilling to pass Maccas by, do we have a right to complain? The additional quote “McDonald’s “operates an extensive network of subsidiaries in tax havens, the majority of which it does not disclose, and is not required to disclose under SEC rules, in its annual report”“, is all about the ’emotion’ but the reality is that McDonald’s is not breaking any laws! Politicians have again and again refused to close some of these loopholes. These are acts not achieved on both sides of the political aisle, which means that none of them get to sling any mud!

Which gets us to: ““There is no excuse for governments to cut public services like health and education when they let companies like McDonald’s shift billions of dollars in taxes offshore,” Public Service International general secretary Rosa Pavanelli said in a statement“, yet Miss Pavanelli seems to skate around the issue that until GOVERNMENTS close the taxation loopholes they have, large corporations can continue their ‘business as usual’. That is the part many players have remained silent on. Australian SBS ‘the Backburner’ (Australian version of the Onion) gave us the reality in another way. They stated “International fast food chain McDonald’s has defended its poor taxation record saying that it should be exempt as it does a public good of slowly killing the population” (at http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2015/05/20/mcdonalds-ceo-we-may-not-pay-tax-least-were-killing-you). This could be truer than we bargained for, especially when we consider the paper by Professor Adam Drewnowski. Still, McDonalds has not done anything wrong, or have they? OK, they did not break any laws (at present), as far as I can tell. Yet, questions need to be asked and it is time that certain issues are dealt with. You see, as I personally see it, our time is wasted by both politicians and the press. The article from last May in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/may/05/mcdonalds-tax-avoidance-investigation-europe) gives us the quote “The European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday that she was examining claims, made by trade unions, that McDonald’s paid just €16m of tax on royalties worth €3.7bn between 2009 and 2013“, and only now this is investigated? In addition we see “Heidi Barker, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s, which on Monday promised to transform itself into a more modern, progressive and transparent burger company, said: “We will decline to comment on your inquiry.”“, invoking emotion against McDonald’s, yet nowhere do we see the statement: “The European Union is investigating required changes to the European tax system so that EEC governments will receive taxation due“. That part is missing in equal measure from most of the Commonwealth nations, which beckons the question ‘Who is serving who in the end?’ and why has it taken so long and so many administrations for any government to truly address it? Questions the press at large does not seem to be asking either, just hands us ‘emotional’ editorial on how evil a food place could be.

In addition, we should address one final part. It is the statement involving former CEO Jim Skinner (2004 – 2012) “However McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner defended Ronald McDonald by saying that he is an ambassador for good and “it’s all about choice”“, so if it is about choice and the choice of McDonald’s has become exploiting maximised profit (which is not a crime), can we accept that the ‘original’ Ronald McDonald is truly dead and will the next McDonald’s clown we see be spotted wearing a Gieves & Hawkes suit?

I’ll let you decide!

Drewnowski-2009-Nutrition_Reviews

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics