Tag Archives: Kim Kardashian

Into the fire we walk ourselves

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

Should I care?

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

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

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

So into the fire we might go!

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Think again!

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

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

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

All questions, all speculation!

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

Should they?

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

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

Time will tell!

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

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics, Science

Mere consideration

An article was given today in the Guardian. We can argue in many ways, there is no ‘Yay’ or ‘Nea’, there is no setting that gives rise to anything wrongfully reported (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/27/cassie-sainsbury-to-serve-six-years-in-colombian-jail-after-judge-accepts-plea-deal). The question that formed in my mind was all about the previous part, all about the part ignored. The Daily Telegraph (at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/cassie-sainsbury-worked-as-a-prostitute-former-colleague-says-shes-a-compulsive-liar/news-story/e3897bc910b3c4d5d7f97d6b8eb406bc) states “the 22-year-old was a former sex worker who spent months working in a Western Sydney brothel in the lead up to her ill-fated ­Colombian trip“, another source gives us that she worked for Club 220. It does not make an impact, what does give us the goods is that this 22 year old went to Columbia of all places. I have nothing against Columbia, I worked with the Colombian presidential guards in 1982, all dedicated to their nation, a little fanatic, but all believing in what they did. Yet as a tourist, Colombia would never be on my list. Rio might (not too likely), yet Buenos Aires definitely would be on my list. Still from Australia that is not the most affordable trip. The cheapest was $2400 return whilst Buenos Aires is offered at $1750, all this whilst Jakarta is merely $270 away. Now, she might not like Indonesia, that’s fair. Yet in all this, Colombia is not the actual most desired place to go to. Some, especially those with connections would feel different and that is fair too. In all this there has been very little reporting on the reasoning of the 22 year old and her choice of travel. So as the Sydney Morning Herald reports “The plea bargain was then explained: if the deal was accepted by the prosecutor, the defence and the judge, Ms Sainsbury would be sentenced to 6 years of prison instead of the potential 30 year sentence if she was found guilty” sounds nice, yet in all this, the deciding players behind this, the elements do not add up. How long until we get scores flying to Bogota, because the coffee is just so much fresher in the place where the beans are plucked. We need not wonder on the validity of choice, merely accept the freedom to choose. It is a point of view we can agree with to some extent, yet questions still rise.

Even as we seem to focus on: “the judge asked Ms Sainsbury if she had been coerced into taking the plea deal“, I wonder how a plea deal is coerced, is a plea deal not the best option she could have hoped for? Was the option to stay in prison for 6 years, or be forced into 30 years? It would be the other way round and as such, how much arm twisting would be required? When we see “Ms Sainsbury was caught at Bogota’s international airport in April, trying to smuggle 5.8 kilograms of cocaine inside 18 separate packages of headphones“, so how was this any good idea? To become an exporter of headphones, whilst JB-Hifi sells quality Sony headsets for $34 (and JBL for $50)? How was any of this a good idea? We know that according to urban folk tales that criminals tend to be not too intelligent, but this dim? Nope, I am not buying it! In addition adding 330 grams to a headset package; something like that gets noticed and real fast too!

In all this, the Daily Telegraph now becomes in addition a worry for Cassie Sainsbury in other ways too. We see this in the two quotes “a former colleague of Sainsbury, who told Nine News she worked with her at brothel Club 220 near Penrith, has accused her of being a compulsive liar who once pretended her mother had died from MS” and “The former colleague said she had donated money to Sainsbury to cover her mother’s funeral costs and was horrified to see images of her mother alive and well on television“. Another claim given is “According to the colleague, Sainsbury went under the name of “Claudia” and listed herself online as “19 years old … classy, fun and ready to please”“, which get us to the situation that if the reliability of the accused is found to be non-existing, there is the chance that the judge throws out the option of plea bargain as the defence of the accused was “she was “threatened” into becoming a mule by an international drugs syndicate“, if there was no threat, she becomes the instigator of smuggling for large profits and that sets her on that 30 year train ride to nowhere.

I found the quote “Sainsbury’s fiancé Scott Broadbridge maintained his partner was innocent during an interview with Seven’s Sunday Night program. He said she was employed by a mystery couple who paid her $1800 a week to travel the world to work for their cleaning business“, it is interesting as it is a better income than most people at ASIS get, and they get into a lot more hot water, being in better shape and having a near Olympian constitution and well above decent looks too, which applies to both the boys and the girls working there. All elements Cassie lacked (as well as other shortcomings in education and degrees), so which cleaning business is hiring people at almost $10K a month?

There is a level of befuddlement within me as parts of all these given items are accepted by media, the courts and apparently the gullible audience. In all this, the Sydney Morning Herald gives one additional Gem that the AAP seems to have missed. When we consider “Given that any amount over 5 kilos is considered “aggravated circumstances” and draws a higher penalty, Ms Sainsbury could be facing 30 years in Colombian prison“, so no matter who was involved, the issue of this element which could have been diminished by trying to smuggle 4.9 Kg instead of the 5.8Kg is showing to be an element, especially as the 18 headsets were already a joke, the difference of 50 grams per headset would still have been noticed, but overall, on the two elements (apart from the mindlessness of trying to personally export 18 headsets whilst you are competing against players you have no chance against), we see that there is an element of stupid greed coming in. When drug tourism relied on the elements of stupid and gullible (added with two tits and a vagina to make the package even more appealing), whomever was linked in all this, going for the lower threshold of staying below 5000 grams might have had another (read: better) impact.

This is not merely the limitations of a system, this is a different circus. The Australian Daily Telegraph is also giving us “Bogota hotel manager describes man whom accused drug mule says tricked her into smuggling cocaine“, in addition; the quotes given give additional light on the less factually given job with $1800 a week. The quote “Ms Hernandez saying she stood out at her hotel because she arrived without a reservation and paid for her accommodation only two days at a time“, would a ‘business‘ trip not be prearranged? How would the ‘cleaning business‘ continue without a clear itinerary as well as clear invoices? In addition to that, the quote which is seen in news.com.au “Earlier it was revealed the US Drug Enforcement Agency reportedly alerted Colombian authorities to their suspicions about Ms Sainsbury. “We found her because of an alert from the DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency],” Bogota airport’s narcotics chief, Commander Rodrigo Soler, told News Corp Australia” the entire mess gets another image entirely. If the given is true, not only is the entire mess as I personally speculate it to be a farce, there is every consideration that she was a 5.8Kg decoy for other parties to get out without a hitch. Consider the facts. She got into the hotel on April 3rd, left April 12th and got arrested on the airport. So in 9 days, she got approached, likely after a few days the ‘coercion‘ was made so in less than 7 days, a infiltrated drug ring got data to the DEA, the name and details forwarded to other parties so she could be arrested. So someone gave up $20,650 in goods (Colombian value of Cocaine), which in Australia would be $1.74 million. Is that what really happened, or was the actual catch to send two additional models (or a couple) each with 2,450 grams of cocaine (total value $1.45 million), whilst the total venture costed $35.5K and three plane tickets. It could just be me, yet when we hear screaming of a high profile drug dealer being caught on boarding the flight those getting of the plane in Sydney might have a lot more smooth sailing.

In the end, there is a chance that she was merely the patsy in this endeavour, whether it was a willing one or a coerced one is hard to tell, however the evidence is not in her favour at present. In light of all this, when we go back to Chapelle Corby who had a bag and a boogie board and decided to add more than the weight of a boogie board in Marijuana in a place that hates drugs with a passion, now we see equally less intelligent acts by a person nicknamed in the papers as ‘Ccocaine Cassie‘, yes, if all hedge funds managers were only that stupid the economy would have been in a much better place.

In my view, we cannot oppose the fact that the bulk of papers are merely reporting on what the AAP is giving them (read: reporting should be copy and paste), yet the ‘articles’ left me with merely common sense issues on nearly every level. In all this I wonder if the court and prosecutor had done their due diligence in addition to all this. Should we have expected more from the Australian Associated Press? They report themselves to be the “AAP is the media company that businesses turn to for news, information and publishing solutions. With breaking news firmly at our core, our vast range of products and services help clients connect with and engage their audiences. AAP is your integrated, simple solution“, yet the AAP made no mention of the 5Kg threshold and what is the verdict on both sides of that isle. In addition, something that was not on the list is the question on how many trips Cassie had been on since she turned 18? I would love to know how she got to decide on Bogota without knowing where else she had been, as that stands to the character of the accused. In addition, considering that the weight of a headset is around 200 grams, replacing that with in excess of 150% weight in cocaine seems even less intelligent. When we get an overdose of details on the lingerie of Kim Kardashian and a lack of facts and evidence in a reported drug hearing, the lack of questions asked all over the place is a little too deafening to my liking.

In all that, the valid words of immigration minister, Peter Dutton as we hear “People need to abide by the laws of that country. If not, they will face serious consequences,” might be well, but it falls on the ears of those stating ‘who the fuck cares?

This directly relates to the lack of visibility we see given to the defence lawyer of Cassie, in this as I see it, only the International Business Times gave any level of visibility to Orlando Herran. Here we see what was given to 60 minutes. With “someone on Craigslist offering a loan and a trip to London, she jumped at the opportunity. However, the itinerary was allegedly changed to Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Bogota“, how was that missed and changed to merely ‘a global cleaning service‘? Does this impede the reliability of the statements of the accused even further? That would be for the court to decide, but overall there has been a level of skipping that is just way too weird. In this the evidence also not reported on was who paid for the flight? Was it in cash (where was it paid) or credit card? All evidence not shown to the audience by the media either.

In the mere consideration here I see a failing on several sides and in all this there would be the required additional forensic digital investigation regarding the Craigslist as well, as it could be useful evidence. This entire event has too many holes and several unlooked places, especially when you consider that the DEA had its own role to play in all this.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics

Age of darkness coming

An interesting article came to light today. Actually, it might not be that interesting. It is merely the consequence of a series of bad decisions by several people. The interesting part is that it was not a local thing. This is possibly one of the few times where several decisions on a global scale escalated one another into the move away from what at times now is laughingly referred to as ‘journalism’. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/15/journalism-faces-a-crisis-worldwide-we-might-be-entering-a-new-dark-age) gives us “Australia’s two largest legacy media organisations recently announced big cuts to their journalistic staff“, up to 120 editorial positions are being wiped from the list of employment options. Apparently there was also the mention “Both announcements were accompanied by corporate spin voicing a continuing commitment to quality journalism. Nobody in the know believes it“. It is followed by the mention that this is partly thanks to Donald Trump. The truth is nowhere near Trump, the entire Trump bashing is merely putting in the spotlight what had been known for some time. There is however a side that is very much true and it is escalating into a movement that will change even further over the next 20 months. The quote “technology has torn apart the two businesses – advertising and news – that used to be bound together by the physical artefact of the newspaper. Once, those who wanted to find a house, a job or a car had to buy a newspaper to read the classifieds. Now, it is cheaper and more efficient to advertise and search online“, it will change even further and the bulk of the audience is not up to speed yet, but within a year they will be.

For me the messed up situation was visible for a long time. No matter what excuse the people of News give, whatever Fairfax claims, it does not matter. Consider the following: ‘Will you pay $2.4 for filtered news?‘ This question is a lot harder than you realise, because the definition of ‘filter’ is not a given, but it is at the heart of the matter. Let’s take a few parts to give you a little perspective.

2010, 2011, we are given all kinds of news regarding Grexit, a weird dirty dance where some players are ‘threatening’ to expel Greece from the Euro. We see the news for weeks, yet no one seems to know what they are doing and the papers are absent in mentioning a legal work that was published in December 2009 by Phoebus Athanassiou that basically inform us that expulsion is not an option, you can only voluntarily leave the EEC and the Euro. The paper (at https://lawlordtobe.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/ecblwp10.pdf) is a paper that comes from the European Central Bank, so why were the newspapers in the dark? Why were the readers not properly informed on this? All the value of a newspaper thrown into the circular filing system, value lost forever.

2011 Operation Weeting. This would be the beginning of a decline that escalated on a global scale. Most people took notice to some degree regarding the News of the World, the phone hacking scandal and the celebrities involved, yet when the world learned of the hacked phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers and victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings the world did not react in kindness, those involved had crossed a line that a very large group found too unacceptable. Many went from ‘Ah well, celebrities!‘ towards ‘WTF!‘ and ‘Could this happen here?‘ two very different trains of thought, the Leveson inquiry that followed was followed by many and a lot of them not in the UK, when the conclusions were revealed we saw a group of editors shouting murder, fascism and on how the freedom of the press was in danger whilst none of them showed any level of accountability, this was one of the clearest coffin nails. There is more and part is not their fault. In this the politicians also have a blame in the matter. As the actual press (the Guardian, the Times, the Independent) were trying to continue to be the responsible ones (to the larger degree), they were placed next to tabloids, magazines proclaiming to be newspapers whilst limiting themselves to ‘Kardashian puts ample bust on display’ (Daily Mail). A lot could have been prevented by making these tabloids VAT (read GST) enabled. Giving the tabloids no longer a 0% VAT options would have levelled the bar a little (read: truly, just a little) against the actual newspapers in the UK. It could have spurred a larger European change. It would not have ended better for the newspapers, yet some of them would have had more time to change their product and business approach.

2012 Sony, this is the one that really got me mad. Two weeks before the PS4 was launched, Sony pulled a fast one. I discussed this (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/08/12/no-press-no-facebook/), in my article ‘No Press, No Facebook!‘, in this case the Guardian was pretty much the only newspaper that gave it any decent attention. A change that would affect 30 million gamers and the news remained absent. So where is the value of my newspaper now? It was “7.1. You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher“, it was followed by a weak statement by a board member of Sony, but the papers and other media were quick to ignore it and none had the critical statement: ‘A terms of service is a legal document, a statement by a board member of Sony can be countermanded with a mere memo‘, the press remained absent! It all sizzled down the track as the TPP never came into effect, but the damage was done and now it was damage that hits the press as well as they were too busy with circulation numbers and facilitating to your advertisers, because Sony PS4 advertisement money is what all newspapers desperately needed, so compromising 30 million gamers (that’s Europe, with 5 million in the UK) was likely not a big deal to them.

These are a few of a growing list of issues where the newspapers are in a bad place, but to some extent they got themselves there. Margaret Simons gives us “Today, just about anyone with an internet connection and a social media account has the capacity to publish news and views to the world. This is new in human history” near the end. She is correct here, but she also forgets to mention that reach and quality is still and issue. I have, with my blog, a mere reach of 5-6 thousand readers, which is next to nothing. I believe that I offer a quality view, but that is in the eyes of the beholder. However, I am only a blogger. When she mentions ‘the capacity to publish news‘ is not entirely correct. Some are falling in front of the news because of location, yet these people are for the most not journalists and that is the kicker. Pieces that are truly journalistic remains pieces of value, the people are just having too many question marks. In addition, the people have lost a massive amount of quality of life, and the price of a newspaper subscription whilst news online tends to be free and the cost of living is going up is also a factor we cannot deny. Yet in equal measure I have worked in firms where they all had 2-5 newspapers on a daily base, most (read: nearly all of them) have stopped doing that, cutting costs did that to some degree.

So as we see the announced age of darkness coming into the newspaper business, we cannot fault their hardship, even though they themselves are partially to blame, yet in equal measure, it seems to me that quality journalism is becoming a nuisance in several European nations. They can hide some of the bad news in sponsored morning shows, there they can spin to some degree, but in a newspaper, and it is all about the relevant information, a side too many players are currently too uncomfortable with. Its fair enough that some journalists are trying to get around that part, but as too much actual news is given to us freely at a moment’s notice, many agree that there is too much speculation in some news, like ‘North Korea may be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas toward Japan‘ (source: CBC), yet in equal measure the newspapers have not been the utterly reliable source of news either and on both sides of the publications, there seems to be a growing issue with ethics to consider and that is even before we add tabloids like Daily Mail, Mail Online, and whatever Murdoch gets to publish. The newspapers became a multidimensional mess. I personally think it is because they waited too long to embrace the online community and that is before the new changes hits them over the next two years. By proclaiming themselves as non-accountable and considering themselves as too important, they marketed themselves straight into the insolvency mode. Yet, that is merely my view on all this.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

The Silvery Goon

To give a little form to this exercise I will alas need to mangle the lyrics that gave additional visibility to Doris Day, a song going back to 1910 when it was initially released.

 

By the light of the Silver Grey Goon

I shall thee groom, to be the sultriest slut I hump

Honey-pot keep your legs far apart

Your silly sight, not very bright, we’ll be laughing loud soon

That game is not really real.

 

So here is the start, direct and as I might add, intentionally offensive!

All this got started by he who did not get elected, it is NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione that takes a front seat today. Not the events in France or Turkey. You see, here on our home front we have an old enemy that is rearing its ugly head and the people who seem to casually start to take the front row as the facilitators here are part of a much larger problem.

First in all this, there is the small issue that it was repetitive. You see, something similar was addressed on August 6th 2012 (at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/violent-video-games-incite-kids-to-crime-says-scipione/story-fn7y9brv-1226443402160). So as the headline read at that point ‘Violent video games incite kids to crime, says Scipione‘, we see a repetition from the people who should be doing the actual work, not the speculation on matters they do not even seem to comprehend.

Now, there are several studies that go back for at least a decade stating that ‘playing violent video games can lead to an increase in aggression‘. There is an issue with that part, you see, I think that a person who has an aggressive nature will choose a more aggressive game. Meaning that the aggression was already in that person, not given to the person by the game. In addition, this was happening in a time where professionals did not have a proper handle on issues like OCD or ADHD. This is important as this group of people is a lot larger than many are willing to admit to. When looking at American numbers we get the goods from the CDC and they tell us: “Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011“, I think that this group has been ignored for far too long and they took refuge (or shelter) within a mindset of video games. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5, the APA got creamed when NIMH withdrew support for DSM-5 in May 2013. NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), gives us the quote “Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure“, so this operation is looking into clinical evidence and even as they admit that there is a link between violent games and aggression, they state “Finds insufficient research to link violent video game play to criminal violence” (at http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/violent-video-games.aspx). So as we see the repetition by a Police Commissioner to rehash an old story, the fact that he is unaware on matters published 3 years after his initial ‘speech’ and the fact that these findings are a year old, in that light his speech does not seem that great or that qualified in a conference on violence in the media in Sydney.

This is however not all. The issue goes on, because he had more inaccuracies to state. We also see “When you see video games that reward behaviour, where somebody’s murdered, where somebody is abducted and raped and they get credits for that – what sort of messages are we sending our children“. You see, that part is another issue entirely. For this we need to take a look at 2014, where we see in ‘the Conversation‘ (at http://theconversation.com/virtual-rape-in-grand-theft-auto-5-learning-the-limits-of-the-game-30520) the following part: “After the release of GTA5 last September, there were discussions about whether players should be able to rape within the game. Wisely, Rockstar Games, the game’s developers, did not take this suggestion on board” in addition we see “But hackers did. They created a mod that allows a user to enter another player’s game, often as a naked or near-naked man, lock onto another player and then thrust persistently back and forth. All players can equally fall victim, regardless of character or player gender. And there is no way to prevent or stop an attack“.

So not only is the Commissioner misleading readers and listeners, but he is spinning another tale. As I see it, the game was never released that way, so the game was altered. We could go as far as to state that they are illegal versions of the game? In my view as I see it the question becomes why has Andrew Scipione not arrested those hackers and if they are not from his jurisdiction, why is he even talking about it? Is there not enough media circus issues in Sydney? In addition, there was a clear reason for 18+ games. When we see the quote “Given that children and young people are large consumers of this sort of content“, can we now be clear that children are not supposed to have those games and if they do, perhaps it is a clear parenting problem and those parents should be ‘losing’ their children? If the ‘child’ is over 18 that ‘child’ would be an adult and it is again a non-issue.

He sounds an awful lot like that confused and hypocritical person in South Australia. Michael Atkinson is his name, I believe. I regard him as hypocritical as he was awfully eager to leave the house he lost control of regarding Labor Premier Jay Weatherill. If Michael Atkinson was so about child safety, he should have intervened a lot sooner. So as we see the ABC quote “While he acknowledged there were fundamental issues within Families SA, he said a “whole community” approach was needed to protect children in the future“, we can draw a straight line to parent responsibility and proper games. So here is the third strike from Andrew Scipione. As I personally see it, this entire exercise is another step on the road to mere censoring.

So is this like Michael Atkinson another religious ‘enthusiast’ to spread the option of censoring?

Let’s be clear, both man can be as Baptist and as Anglican as they want to be. I have nothing against religion (being a Catholic and a partial Anglican). Yet it cannot influence the job that needs doing as long as no laws are being broken. The fact that we are introduced to a ‘presentation’ of inaccuracies is a large problem!

So as we realise that there is a clear 18+ category and as was said in 2012: “Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says the new category will inform consumers, parents and retailers which games are not suitable for minors“, we wonder what the speech was all about.

You see, Andrew was not alone. So now we get Elizabeth Handsley, professor of law at Flinders University and the president of the Australian Council on Children and the Media. Now we see quotes that actually have a little value: “the number of people who become desensitised or oversensitive to other people’s aggression is going to be greater, and that will have that broader, society-wide effect that we won’t necessarily be able to identify“, she has a partial valid point. You see partial as it is her part that is also a problem. The part that both are skating away from. An act that is as I see it likely to be intentional is the accountability of the media in general. The ethical uncaring nature of the media that will trample basic rights of privacy to get the knickers of Kim Kardashian on any media at a moment’s notice, a media that after getting scared to death by the dangers the Leveson report brought, did fake gestures of sincerity and they were up to their old tricks before the ink on the Leveson report had dried. That side is not dealt with by either of them, because the fact that the Press gets away with murder (well almost) and that accountancy firms are suddenly not responsible for large corporations overstating value and losing billions in value. In all this the people linked do not end up in jail. I reckon that this side of reality is a lot more damning on those kids and their optional shift towards non-legal actions than a video game is. The fact that these sides of the media are not set forward is equally damning on Scipione as it is on Professor Handsley.

In addition there is what the conference called a certain ‘Distinguished Professor Craig Anderson‘, when we see the topic ‘Media violence science, video game industry lies, and responsible public policy‘ we need to also take heed of a part not shown here. The case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 564 U.S. 08–1448 (2011), a case that was struck down by the Supreme Court. A massive part in this is that the First amendment was seen as overstepped by stopping these video games. I am not completely in agreement here. You see, I am all for 18+ games. As an adult I want to play them, I want to play them completely and unfiltered by some half-baked censor. Yet, I am on the front lines to agree that Grand Theft Auto is not for children. We can argue how old a child should be, but the rating was clear, you need to be 18 to play it. I do not object. By the way, when was the last time you read the stories of Grimm? How docile are those stories?

I also support then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who stated in 2007 “a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions“, which is what age ratings are all about and any parent giving their child a mature game is a bad parent and should be held to account. Getting back to this ‘distinguished’ professor. When we see issues on methodology, the fact that the APA gives view that there is no evidence that violent games link to criminal acts (or more precise there was insufficient research), gives weight to the debatable part whether this conference is anything else than a tax write off for travelling academics remains. When we consider the opinion from the supreme court in the earlier case mentioned (at https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf), where we see the mention of ‘admitted flaws in methodology‘ and the fact that I got all this in one hour, I get to wonder what on earth Andrew Scipione was thinking when he made his speech and I wonder in equal measure what Professor Handsley was thinking in her part. You see, the quote “potential harms of violent video games were often oversimplified” is not the issue. Proper investigation has been lacking, because (as I personally see it), political hatch jobs that cause the problem for whatever crusade they think that they are on. As Michael Atkinson blocked whatever he could under what I consider to be a false premise is the actual danger. In all the research I saw ZERO indication that properly investigated the opposite side. Not the violent games create aggression, but that people with aggressive tendencies go towards violent games. In case of OCD/ADHD people, there is a life of frustration and there is a chance that they are releasing steam by playing games. In this age, where the bulk of parents are getting less and less connected to their children, often because of the cost of living, long hours and exhaustion are also influences that create pressures and mental health dangers in every family affected here.

If there is one side in that conference I would have attended, then it is the part by Dr Wayne Warburton, where we see ‘Media violence and domestic violence: Subtle and not so subtle links’, you see there is one side that is open to debate on a near global level. You see, in June 2014, I stumbled upon an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/08/police-fear-rise-domestic-violence-world-cup). Here we see “domestic abuse rates has revealed that in one force area in England and Wales, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won“, as well as “In Lancashire – where during the 2010 tournament domestic abuse rose by 25%“, so when they are talking about Media violence, will they raise the issue of soccer and domestic abuse? If not, how reliable was this conference? It seems to me that there is an awful lot of aggravated censoring of video games when there is enough evidence that the people involved have no comprehension of video games, or the people playing them, as well as their background and medical history of those involved.

Isn’t it weird how the same issue is raised again and again, especially against video games, which is still not proven,  whilst the evidence of domestic violence, which is a proven link to criminal behaviour in kids is interestingly negated, perhaps an actual fight for the safety of children is beyond them? Why bark up the wrong tree again and again? Was it not Einstein who stated: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results“, I reckon that I have shown that to be the case of more than one speaker.

So have a good night and remember to look up when you are trying to catch them all in Pokémon GO, especially when you aimlessly walk into the Pacific River!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, Media, Politics

The cold light of logic

I have been jabbing my head whether I should write this. You see there is a witch-hunt going on and I honestly have an issue with witch-hunts. In my mind, a witch-hunt is never ever done under the light of reasoning. It is always done hiding behind and exploiting waves of emotions. All this started when a barrister called Charlotte Proudman decided to link to another barrister named Alexander Carter-Silk. The man accepted and wrote the quotes “Always interest to understant people’s skills and how we might work together“, he was delighted to connect, but the statement (given before the quote) that became the issue was “I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture”.

The wave of accusation that followed regarding ‘misogynistic behaviour’ regarding a Human Rights Barrister is now completely out of control. Anyone who has a chip to grind seems to go out on a free for all.

For my view? It is a stunning picture. I say that after have been a photographer for wel over 25 years. I started my photography passion in the late 70’s and seldom have I seen a photo of this level of quality. I’ll up the ante! I state here and now that you will not find 1000 photos of this quality in LinkedIn, a place with 300,000,000 registered members. I compared the photo of Charlotte Proudman to Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande (Nickelodeon actress), Taylor Swift and Zac Efron. They are not even close to the photo result of Charlotte Proudman. Now, as a photographer the first person I blame for that is the photographer.

After that I wonder whether Charlotte Proudman (in this specific case) is overreacting. Consider the emotion you feel when I state this! I am not claiming she is, I am wondering whether she is. That remains a valid question and if you cannot consider that, then you should not judge because whatever you think you are weighing, you are definitely weighing elements you are not honestly considering, which implies the act of misjudgment

The writer stated from the beginning “this is probably horrendously politically incorrect“, in all this he mentioned the picture, not the person.

And let’s be clear, When I digged a little and found the same picture in high resolution (from her website), which it is the same pic we saw in both LinkedIn and on her Twitter account. The photo is what I regard as pristine quality, now the question the follow are mere questions. I do not know the person, I never met her and I have no idea what she is like. Yet the image shows her skin to be perfect (was it photo shopped?), her eyes have a colouring and clarity I have seldom witnessed in person. I compared them to the close ups of the eyes of Ali Larter, Mila Jovovich and Claudia Schiffer. Not the colour of the eyes, but the super sharp colouring of the eyes. All these facts do not make for the mind of Charlotte Proudman, but take these elements and now consider a very professional photo of Charlotte Proudman. Her photo stands miles above the photos of women (men too) that make a living from their looks. In all the witch-hunting waves, no seemed to have taken a rational look at what was stated by a Human Rights Barrister.

Not some lawyer or Judge in the commercial field, nope a Human Rights Barrister!

Now, we can agree that the statement was unfortunate and it was most definitely not the best statement to make, but this barrister must have been blown away by the image that was linked to the connection, I was blown away and I have been a photographer for a long time.

There is another quote (at http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/sep/08/charlotte-proudman-alexander-carter-silk-linkedin-photo-comment-law-firms), it is “Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on LinkedIn, my comment was aimed at the professional quality of the presentation on LinkedIn, which was unfortunately misinterpreted“. I personally agree with that part.

In her own statement “The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance“, so in that light how should we see the LinkedIn photo from a Caroline Pemberton? She is a TV presenter, a producer and her photo shows the image of an experienced model. We could go on with models like Nikki Prat and Sue Di Chio, The quality of the photo of Charlotte Proudman beats them all with miles to spare. No one took a good look at the picture and they all hid behind the emotions of text. By the way, the pictures of men (even those dependent on looks) are massively worse. Russel Crowe, Zac Efron, Richard Branson even Barack Obama. Now, I cannot vouch whether those profiles are real, yet with 8 million followers at least one real profile will be amongst them.

In all this there is a reality. “‘I am on Linked-in for business purposes, not to be approached about my physical appearance or to be objectified by sexist men“, as she herself states. There is 0% doubt that this does not happen, yet in all this, I have some serious doubts whether Mr Carter-Silk had any intention of being that kind of a person (I never met him, so I cannot vouch for that part), yet in all my years on LinkedIn those in heavy professional walks of life, most of them rely on LinkedIn and pardon the ‘unacademic’ phrase, those who rely on that part of life: “we tend to not shit where we eat”.

Meaning that people like both Alexander Carter-Silk and Charlotte Proudman both see LinkedIn as the professional portal it is. The massive witch-hunt wave I am watching unfold now seems to be about people and their own political agendas. When we see quotes like “Feminist barrister Charlotte Proudman explains why she is NOT for ‘equality’ & how Feminism is NOT about ‘equality’” (from @FeminismIsLies), we must acknowledge that the spinning is starting. In final thoughts, I must give mention to Sam Thomas (@iamsamthomas) with “Spot of advice, gents: “I appreciate this is probably horrendously politically incorrect” is never a promising opener“, he is absolutely correct! In equal measure mention must be given to Sarah Butcher (@MadameButcher) who stated “What to do when someone tells you your LinkedIn photo is ‘the most stunning they’ve ever seen“.

Both sides made mistakes one side for stating amazement the other, not for speaking up (which one should always do), but by speaking up against the one person who more likely than not had no misogynistic or sexist objective in mind. I have been wrong in the past, I will be wrong in the future, but here, I get to rely on 35 years of experience in photography and it is unlikely that I could have made that shot (but then, I was never graduated with a degree in photography.

Delta Python Lobster

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Politics