Tag Archives: Mecca

The one exception

I am not one to speak out against Islam, I am not islamic and I do not know the Quran, as such I tend to avoid Islamic issues. I also never read Salman Rushdie’s Satanic verses for the same reason. If it was an attack on the Bible, I might have picked it up, but it was an attack on Islam and without knowledge of the Quran and Islam it is a waste of my time. So I never read the book, even though many (with the same lack of knowledge) picked up the book and use it as gospel. Well the devil can recite the bible too, so I will not play that game. Today I am not attacking Islam, I am not speaking out against Islam. The Guardian and a few other papers made me aware of an issue. The Guardian gave me ‘Saudi Arabia: man arrested after Mecca pilgrimage for Queen’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/13/saudia-arabia-yemeni-man-arrested-mecca-pilgrimage-the-queen). There we see “Saudi authorities have arrested a man who claimed to have travelled to the Muslim holy city of Mecca to perform an umrah pilgrimage on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II” here I was initially wondering what this was about, but then we learn “Saudi Arabia forbids pilgrims to Mecca from carrying banners or chanting slogans. While it is acceptable to perform umrah on behalf on deceased Muslims, this does not apply to non-Muslims like the Queen, who was supreme governor of the Church of England, the mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion.

OK, I get that, and I will not oppose that rule of law, which is islamic in nature (all Saudi law is Islamic in nature as far as I can tell). But then I thought it through. You see, we all abide by law, whatever law it is and Islamic law is no less than any other law, but in this (towards any law) I believe that there will alway be an exception. In my lifetime I have known two exceptions. The first was Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), the man was one truly amazing exception and probably the primary reason why the Germans never got to England. He was given a 19-gun salute, by The Honourable Artillery Company, a unique event to say the lease, he was voted the greatest Briton of all time in 2002. The man was that unique.

Now there is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) who was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, the second exception and in my lifetime I was aware of both. In every generation a truly exceptional person is born. OK, there was also the Mahatma Gandhi, so now we have three. But I challenge anyone who proclaims that these three were not unique and exceptional in almost every way.

Now we get back to the article. There we see that a Yemeni national transgressed those laws. I cannot vouch for the actions of this Yemeni national who is stated to have held a banner saying: “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to accept her in heaven and among the righteous.” And now we have the issue, or perhaps the situation. What little I know I would state that God should accept her in heaven. I merely hope that the prosecution and the Islamic scholars see the event as a truly exceptional one. Queen Elisabeth II reigned for 70 years and 214 days. the longest of any British monarch, the longest recorded of any female head of state in history. And her reign was even as head of the church of England to be a reign of inclusion of any religion. Whomever this Yemeni national is, I hope that Islamic law recognises the exceptional person for whom the transgression was done and that leniency will be found. 

I also recognise that there is a need to avoid this situation and that in any generation an exception can be found, In my generation this is the one exception. Perhaps in the dusk of my life I see it differently and I might have reacted differently when I was young, but I lived through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and the twenty two years after those and Queen Elisabeth II was a true exception and revered by a lot more than the British. So I personally hope that this Yemeni citizen, hopefully knowing Islamic law would have seen this as this one exception as well. There is a point when any law can be intentionally broken, not for ones self, but to remind us all that there is a greater good, a greater need to recognise that there is an exception to a law, any law and for many that will be the recognition of Queen Elisabeth II and the exceptional life driven to follow the duties that were bestowed on her, she kept that oath and followed her path of duties for over 70 years, a task that well over 99.999% of all people would be unable to keep, that is true exceptional and that makes her the one exception and I reckon that millions will hope that she will be welcomed into heaven, any heaven. Whether it is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Judaism or any other religion. Less then 5 in anyones lifetime ever make it to such a list, I truly believe that Queen Elisabeth II is one of those people. I truly believe that if she enters Islamic heaven, she will be enjoying tea with Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi – Ras Al Khaimah, Hussein bin Talal, Fahd bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, and Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud discussing whatever rulers talk about. I have no way of knowing that. I feel certain that they will welcome her in their midst as an equal in many ways. 

The one exception is not merely recognising that person, it will be the feeling of loss when that person is gone and it will be a rare moment when that feeling hits us when it is another nations ruler. It is a different person for most people, In case of Sir Winston Churchill, in 2002 456,498 voted him as the greatest Briton who ever lived, he won by getting 28.1% of the votes. If that same vote happens in 2030, there is no doubt that it will be Queen Elisabeth II who graces the number one spot and I predict that the vote count for her to win will be a lot higher, she might just get nearly all the votes there are and as the UK now has 67,508,936 people, I reckon she might end will well over 50 million votes. 

That is merely my point of view, and again I state that this is an Islamic stage on Islamic law and I accept that, but I also see that there will be that one exception and that is my point of view. So I can only hope that there will be leniency for this Yemeni man who intentional or not broke the law. 

Advertisement

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Politics, Religion

Stunting into stupidity

It started with an article in the Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/20/israeli-journalist-sneaks-into-mecca-triggering-online-backlash). The article gives us ‘Israeli journalist sneaks into Mecca triggering online backlash’, it gives a lot more and it gives us the man who topped the stupid bill (namely Gil Tamary) and the byline gives us “his report aired on Israel’s Channel 13 News had not intended to offend Muslim”, didn’t he? He wanted a showstopper, to be mentioned in history and he was utterly uninterested in the aftermath. He merely wanted to be first at the expense of everyone else. How did I get there? “Israel’s Channel 13 News aired a 10-minute report on Monday in which journalist Gil Tamary drove past the Grand Mosque that houses the cube-shaped Kaaba, the holiest shrine in Islam, and climbed the Mount of Mercy”, you see, the mount of mercy is a granodiorite hill about 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Mecca. This was all premeditated, and that was essential in making an article that would upset muslims, it was a stunt from beginning to end. The quote “The report was billed as a scoop and the journalist the first Jewish Israeli reporter to document the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj.” Supports my point of view. You see, if the reporter was Muslim it was not that much of an issue, but Channel 13 news did not send a Muslim, did they? 

You see only Muslims are allowed to visit Mecca, while non-Muslims cannot enter. The breach of this rule can result in a fine or deportation. And that rule has been in place before I went to primary school where we learn this. Gil Tamary needed a stunt, something to brag about over dinner for all time. He is the first non-Muslim to go to Mecca, a stunt too stupid to consider the impact of insult made to Muslims. Gil Tamary is an idiot, perhaps the biggest one in Israel, so that is the other stunt he can make claim on: “I am the biggest idiot in Israel”, but he will not try that path, will he? And in all this when we reconsider “The purpose of this entire endeavour was to showcase the importance of Mecca and the beauty of the religion, and in doing so, foster more religious tolerance and inclusion”, might optionally have been true if the film team would have been Muslim, if the reporter would have been Muslim. I saw Mecca, I saw the Hajj through the camera’s of Muslims. I spoke about it in ‘The media gets it this wrong?’ days before someone decided to sneak into Mecca. I never snuck into Mecca, people had covered their trip to Mecca, the trip of their lifetime and shared it with all others. Channel 13 had that very same option, but left it to the idiot of Israel (Gil Tamary) to make a fool of Channel 13 and to upset millions of Muslims. So if we see stories of upset Muslims if will be due to Gil Tamary a.k.a. the idiot of Israel. I feel angry, I feel angry that someone would disrespect any religion to such a degree. And you know what is even worse? When I seek ‘Gil Tamary’ I get: “5 results (0.29 seconds)”, the western media was willing (read: intent) to stay clear of this, the media who in large numbers would convict the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lacking evidence, is not willing to go near this event. The media has become this warped! And no one is asking questions. No one is demanding evidence of such levels of misrepresentation. 

So when will the media realise just how insignificant they have become? You see when other people will look at Arab News, Al Jazeera and other media and they see how misrepresented the news has become, what will they do? What excuse will they use? 

I will let you ponder that part of the equation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

The media gets it this wrong?

That is more than a question, it is a statement and the ABC is joining the tool section of media. This all started today when I saw a piece by Stan Grant. The article (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-17/joe-biden-upholding-rules-based-order-shaking-hands-with-killers/101242386) gives us ‘For Joe Biden, the price of upholding a global rules-based order seems to be shaking hands with killers and tyrants’ and the article is lousy from the start. We get “So this is what the global rules-based order looks like: US President Joe Biden sitting down with a Saudi leader with blood on his hands. US intelligence says Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. His body is believed to have been cut into pieces and incinerated.” A little recap. The UN report (at [381]) gives speculation what had to be done, but there is no evidence of any kind that the CIA or other intelligence agencies had ANY realistic level of evidence that Khashoggi’s life was in danger, more important none of the evidence shows that there was a definite evidence. I saw one report that gives us that it was highly likely that a member of the royal family was involved. Lets repeat that ‘Highly likely’ and that is not evidence, as such the statement ‘sitting down with a Saudi leader with blood on his hands’ is a farce and pure speculation. In addition the statement “His body is believed to have been cut into pieces and incinerated” is equally speculative. Then we get to the statement “Osama bin Laden, who plotted the attacks, was a Saudi. Of the 19 terrorists who carried out the attacks, 15 were Saudi citizens. An FBI report has linked a Saudi diplomat to the attackers.” Lets look at that. The more correct version is “Osama bin Laden, who plotted the attacks, was a Saudi, trained by the CIA” as such the attack on America was done by a rogue CIA agent, but that is bad PR, is it not? Then we get “When it comes human rights, China ranks higher than Saudi, according to Freedom House.” Based on what data? How many nations were tested? These seem like harsh questions to ask, yet the writer added the line in the middle, so these questions are valid. Especially as Freedom House is added once in the entire text, the context is gone. In all this the Uyghurs might not agree with that statement, but behind every silver lining a new dark cloud is hiding. 

Is Saudi Arabia a perfect state? Not according to many in the west, not according to non-islamic people. I do not know, I have never been to Saudi Arabia, what I saw was from YouTube. I saw the Hajj today, I saw Mecca, a place that a christian will never visit because it is off limits to non islamic people. Am I upset? No, I am not. I reckon that there are places in Saudi Arabia I would want to see before Mecca ever graces my list. It is nothing negative, it is that Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam have a lot to offer. I saw the video’s and they look awesome. I saw the Hajj, thousands of people united in one faith and these people are a mix of Sunni and Shias, praying next to one another in peace, more important they all have the same Quran. Try that in the western world. The Protestants and Catholics have been at each others throats for centuries and they still are. There are over a dozen version of the bible and they all claim theirs is the real one. There is ONE Quran! In the Mecca walk that someone posted I saw Mecca. I saw the streets, I saw a surprising amount of high rises. I saw Haagen-Dazs and I saw two KFC’s. I saw a shopping mall that is every bit as luxurious as the ones I saw in Sydney, Bangkok, Chicago or New York. I saw a vegetable store handing out bananas to passing people. Try that in London. I saw people happy and walking in joy. I think that we are more alike than unlike and it made me happy. The streets were clean, the people were walking all over and as they were closer to the Mosque, the pilgrims stood out in their white cloaks, all unified in faith. I can honestly say that I never saw such a sight in Lourdes. I saw no discord, It was an awesome sight. 

This all reflects back to the article. Is MBS guilty? No! He is not, is he innocent? I cannot tell because there is no evidence, and that what is there is warped. I stated that several times and there is something to say for the rogue agents. We have our own Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) to thank for that. Wasn’t it he who said “Oh, who will relieve us of these blasphemers?” No order was ever given, but the blasphemer was gone. Was this the same? I cannot tell, there is no evidence, but it seems clear that rogue agents were hoping for some reward. I like the response of one of the spokespeople best “Khashoggi doesn’t make the top 1000 of worries of the Crown Prince”, it is paraphrased. I tried to find the article again, but I was unable. Consider the facts, when Khashoggi was alive he was a mere columnist for the Washington Post. I reckon that less than a thousand non WP readers had a clue who he was. And now his name is stated in nearly every article that mentions Saudi Arabia or the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, have you not noticed that? So in this age, the US needs cheap oil and Saudi Arabia is the only source left for America. And in that race no one is asking why the US needs Saudi oil. You see America is the largest oil producer, followed by Saudi Arabia, Russia and China. In this day and age of everyone screaming to reduce oil, why does the US need Saudi oil? Perhaps the US needs to reconsider the stupidity they preach and come out clean why they need more oil. They are by several sources the largest producer of oil, so why would they need more? Perhaps I was right all along, to reduce oil usage one must redefine what is essential, it seems that the US is not doing that. But that side of the equation does not make it into the media, does it?

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics, Religion

The power to teach

I wrote about the idea in the past, I wrote about it specifically on one side, yet it dawned on me (whilst watching Star Wars) that I wasn’t looking at the larger picture. This happens, you, me, we all tend to focus on our own street. Yet the streamers (Google, Amazon and optionally Netflix) allows for a new setting of teachings. Just as I saw my mind create a game based around the Vatican, there is nothing stopping a nation like Saudi Arabia to create a game of education around the Quran and Islam, Israel a game around the Torah and the Jewish teachings. And these are games for all. Consider people actually learning about the Quran through playing a game, To walk the streets of Medina (optionally Mecca too) whilst rebuilding the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. And as we unlock conversations, as we unlock teachings and historical figures, we also unlock more of the Quran, and this is not something I can do, this Neds to be done by Muslims, together with Muslim clerics to give the proper allocation of passages allotting to the entire Quran, a true face of islamic teachings. If we accept that the statement “Islam is a major world religion, with over 1 billion followers worldwide (1/5 of the world population). It is considered one of the Abrahamic, monotheistic faiths, along with Judaism and Christianity. Although usually associated with the Arabs of the Middle East, less than 10% of Muslims are in fact Arab. Muslims are found all over the world, of every nation, colour, and race. The most populous Muslim country today is Indonesia, a non-Arab country”, an educational game with an interest base of 1,000,000,000 and optionally growing. Why didn’t anyone else think of this? The same for Christianity and all the other religions. 

But I personally feel that teaching people about Islam and the Quran will be an option to fight Islamophobia. Fight religious discrimination through a game, who considered that application of streaming systems? There is nothing stopping the games coming up on other consoles, but the exclusivity applies strongly to streaming solutions, and this is not a game that is done in a year and it will take growing steps, it is a large undertaking, no matter what religion is the focal point. 

Quran App

This all started longer ago when I was trying out the Quran App, I needed to learn a little more about the Quran, I do not trust any source that is one sided telling me what is true, so I tried to learn more, but having an app with the Quran is not a decent way to teach about Islam, a lot more is needed and games are an excellent form of teaching. I have that seen to be a reality for decades, I am merely surprised that no one considered teaching the young and old more about religion this way. There are a lot of questions that I cannot answer, for one, I do (only recently) know that there are no images of the prophet, but who else in the non-Islamic community knew that? If we know that, the French secular move to have a teacher show the images of the prophet is not educational, it is merely insulting against Islam, games can offer a better stage, a global stage and in all ways an educational and optionally a cultural stage. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, Religion

In light of faith

We all have faith to some degree, the atheist believes in himself (or herself) and believes in science, the agnostic accepts that there is something more, optionally there is a god (the dyslexic one totally believes in the existence of ‘dog’) and the believers, where do they stand?

I grew up being a Catholic, when the news from the Boston Globe reached the world, we became confused, the matter did not help when we watched the movie Spotlight and got a better view on a global scale just how corrupt the world facilitating to the Catholic Church had become. The 2005 movie Kingdom of Heaven by Ridley Scott did not help the Catholic case either.

Now, we accept that the premise of the movie is not real, but the background is and there is plenty of supporting evidence. The Council of Clermont (November 1095) gives a lot to consider, the words by Pope Urban “a barbaric fury has deplorably afflicted and laid waste the churches of God in the regions of the Orient” has been accepted as a undisputed truth and for the longest of time (almost a 1000 years), we have been taught from primary school that the Saracens (Arabs) were the great evil, yet after the entire cold war and the Vietnam war, the word by government is no longer readily accepted and as the entire Catholic abuse stage has been evolving over the last decade those believing in something larger are in a internal fight of faith. Even in historic ways our place in the world is debatable. It is shown going back to the Treaty of Clermont 1095, when Georg Strack from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich gives us in his article ‘The Sermon of Urban II in Clermont and the Tradition of Papal Oratory‘ the larger issue: “Since we only have the reports of chroniclers and not the manuscript of the pope himself, each analysis of this address faces a fundamental problem: even the three writers who attended the Council of Clermont recorded three different versions, quite distinctive both in content and style, even there the scribes were all about paraphrasing giving us no clear report, a failing to be sure. Even beyond the Crusades, the Catholic Church has been the driven power to lay waste to dozens of civilisations, eradicating them all.

Fulcher of Chartres

When we look at the very first crusade we see: “a cleric who took part in the First Crusade and was probably present at the council itself. At least he asserts in his prologue that he has recorded only those events which he saw with his own eyes. Even though it has been argued that personal experience was of less importance in crusading chronicles, it is noteworthy that Fulcher explicitly mentions this topos and other sources do not“, in addition to this, we are given “he reports not only a call for the crusade but two speeches by the pope. According to this source, Pope Urban first admonished the clergy and declared the official causae of the council in an opening sermon. Probably on the first day, he addressed the gathered ecclesiastical dignitaries with an ‘eloquent address’ (adlocutio dulciflua) about the necessity of Church reform. Firstly, the pope exhorted the assembled bishops and abbots to meet their responsibilities. He explained that they were called shepherds and should, therefore, ‘guard on every side of the flock entrusted to them (John 10. 12–13)’” A stage that could be seen in a few ways, but there is a call for the stage where we see the need of ‘the assembled bishops and abbots to meet their responsibilities‘ and there we see the problem, the nobles pillaged the realm of Saracens to the maximum, there are indications, but no witness reports to the degree we would accept. Yet the stage between 1095 and when Jerusalem was handed to Saladin (An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub) in October 1187 (after a siege that lasted two weeks), was only the beginning, even as the Kingdom of Jerusalem shifted its capital, in the end Saladin took control of Acre, Nablus, Jaffa, Toron, Sidon, Beirut, and Ascalon, with only Tyre remaining because of the arrival of Conrad of Montferrat. In all cases those fleeing the cities took whatever of worth they could carry. It also gives more on the status of Balian of Ibelin (played by Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven), even as he was nobility, the Muslims regarded him as a king.

The movie gives a background, yet remains highly fictional, what does come to the foreground is that the pillaging by Christian nobility was almost a given, and the quote: “Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, and their leaders generally retained control of captured territory rejecting and removing Byzantine control whenever possible. Intolerance of other faiths and traditions increased, particularly with Jews and those considered heretics. Muslims were murdered in their thousands on several occasions, as were non Catholic Christians” all this is now coming to blows in a different way.

Hajj

As we witness the Muslim Pilgrimage (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2HTiOUY8Mc), we become witness to well over 2 million pilgrims, Shia and Sunni Muslims next to one another, one Quran identical for all. One source gives: “Saudi Arabia announced Saturday that the total number of pilgrims reached 2,489,406, increased 117,731 individuals than last year“, it seems to me that we should take a closer look into Islam, not to attack it, but to learn from it. Earlier this year we were able to see the Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast), you can see the event in Mecca (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs8obP4uRa0), showing me more religiously connected people than the Vatican (read Christians) ever showed.

This does not make me a Muslim, but learning more about Islam and Muslims is an essential first. When we can no longer trust the Catholic Church, when we see now over the last two years alone on how the abuse by the clergy was seemingly tolerated up to the highest level, we need to find a balance, we need to learn what faith is, and we need to learn what it is. Even as people like Charles Stanley make speeches like ‘The Stages of Our Faith‘, where we are shown what faith is, but does Charles actually know what it is? When we hear ‘It is clear in the scripture‘, yet it is not, and more precisely, which version? The Catholic and Protestant versions are not the same. When it is followed by ‘Jesus honours faith‘, we wonder if that is true. Even if some person named Jesus of Nazareth stated somewhere between 25AD- 30AD that he honours faith, I wonder how much value it has to the sexual abuse victims his preachers created (in the US way above 100,000) it does not seem to voice and show any level of honouring faith, In Europe these numbers are a lot higher giving us a mountain of victims, in all this how can any person who accepts that the protection of children is a first remain a Christian?

I do not have all the answers; I never claimed to have them. Yet it seems to me that those in doubt of faith need to find their faith. Whilst the Christian documentation has several versions and several relations in a stage of not knowing, it seems to me that a nation like Saudi Arabia, where the Hajj is visited by all Muslims nations, including Iran has something that many cannot ignore, even this year in light of the Iranian – Saudi issues we are given that ‘Iran opens mechanized catering center in Mecca‘, it is seemingly without issues, there is a clear indications that there are no acts against people who are there for their faith, something that we have not seen in the western world ever!

These steps are now more than ever essential, as we have been sold a bag of goods again and again, and as our need for the actual truth increases, we need to start showing which sources are trustworthy and which ones are not.

Two Days Later

Today, several sources give us: ‘Muslim pilgrims pray in Mecca as hajj winds down without incident‘, the quote “Senior officials said there had been no major incidents and the logistical, security and health plans had been successful, even with some heavy rainfall. Saudi Arabia stakes its reputation on its guardianship of Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, and its organisation of the pilgrimage. It hopes to continue expanding attendance to help to build its tourism industry“, during this event that ends after a week, we find that 88,000 Iranians attended the event. A stage where Saudi Arabia and Iran are in a proxy war, a stage where the mistrust between two nations is great, the 88,000 were able to perform their Hajj without incident. There is something wrong, it is not with them, or with Islam, it is with us and it is time that we start recognising it.

The heretic burnings in the UK (1532), the Protestant & Catholic wars in Ireland (up to the late 70’s) are two of the most visible ones, then there was the Spanish Inquisition (not the Monty Python edition) and the list goes on, versions of the same faith trying to remove the other ones, this in opposition with the versions of Islam where they all use the same Quran and as we see that they all pray side by side, no fighting. We need to take example from this, in a stage where Christians are more and more regarded as the violent ones, where we see how the Catholic church was given reprieve again and again, protecting a quoted 7% of all Catholic priests being involved in the act of sexual abuse, we need to start accepting that not only can we no longer tolerate Islam phobia, we need to start learning the simple truth that the Islam is not the evil here. We see all the humanitarian shouting is out of balance, the equal silence form these people as loud outrage is absent whilst thousands of children were sodomised is equally astounding. That evidence was shown on August 8th 2019 with the headline: ‘Paul Muschick: One year after explosive Catholic Church investigation in Pennsylvania: 300 priests, 1,000 victims, no state action‘, what do you do when you wake up in the morning, only to realise that we are the evil supporters? How would an American react when he/she is woken up in 1947, only to be told that they actively supported Nazi Germany? Is that offensive? It better be, because this is worse. We have instigated and supported a form of government and jurisprudence that refuses to prosecute a criminal clergy, whilst a homosexual population in America is prosecuted and vilified without evidence.

We as a people, we as Christians have failed humanity and we need to accept that and live with the evil that we created. Yet do not take my word on this, find out yourself and consider one source (from TEDx) which discusses ‘What I Learned by Converting from Christianity to Islam‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1yKKGchRcc), a small 11 minute video that might open your eyes.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Politics, Religion

Sexual abuse is apparently fine

The Washington Post gives us the news one hour ago. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/private-letters-indicate-the-vatican-imposed-but-didnt-enforce-restrictions-on-former-cardinal-mccarrick/2019/05/28/dc3ca440-814f-11e9-b585-e36b16a531aa_story.html) gives us: ‘Private letters indicate the Vatican imposed, but didn’t enforce, restrictions on former cardinal McCarrick‘, the setting here is that “an aide to former cardinal Theodore McCarrick released excerpts from emails and letters laying out how the Vatican tried to quietly sanction McCarrick years before he was defrocked for sexual abuse“, so this was not in the short run, this is not a small matter, the Washington Post has additional articles on this in 2018, and it gets to be worse when we consider that clerical abuse expert Richard Sipe published excerpts from the 2005 and 2007 settlement documents in 2010. Yet I am still in another phase. You see most of us got the wakeup call through the movie Spotlight (2016), we had heard rumours left, right and chapels, but the fact on just how big and large the problem is has not made it to mainstream media to the degree that it should had. How can I as a Catholic, remain Catholic when I am confronted with: “send reported abusers for mental health counseling; reassign them to pastoral work regardless of what a professional recommends (i.e. restriction of access to minors); allow them to work again unsupervised; wait for another report of offence; repeat the cycle; cover it all up“, which we got from Richard Sipe in May 2010. And it gets worse when you consider: “The trouble is that it is sealed within the system. Few of the seminarian/priest victims will talk on record. They have everything to lose. Sexually active priests who have no intention of being celibate do everything to cover their tracks“, so according to the release evidence (excerpts from court cases) and the amounts settled was a lot; basically, all the funds that the people hand over for charity, for the church, for the needy. From that amount around $4 billion regarding cases that go back up to 35 years, the largest amount $600 million regarding 221 priests to dress the wounds of well over 500 victims. Whilst none of these clerics are in prison, these people give us lectures on humanitarian aid and the suffering in places like Saudi Arabia? How hypocrite can we get?

So as Newsweek, who was the source gave us one part, they also gave us BishopAccountability, who is actively ‘documenting the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church‘ give us the additional “We document settlements involving 5,679 persons who allege sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. These survivors are only one-third of the 15,235 allegations that the bishops say they have received through 2009, and they are only 5% of the 100,000 U.S. victims“, the realisation that this is from the last 10 years and that it involves over 15,000 allegations, as i see it a large prison holding up to 25,000 priests called ‘Concilium Vaticanum locum seorsum‘ (Vatican Isolation Location) is required, build at the expense of, as well as funded by the Vatican. I reckon that in the end it is a cheaper way to resolve the issue, when we set these beasts in prison for 5-15 years, things might look up. How acceptable do you find the notion of: “wait for another report of offence; repeat the cycle; cover it all up“? How will you see this when it involves your child or a relative you were close to?

In all this the lamest of all reasons is seen with: Adult men make less instantly sympathetic victims than children, and the alleged incidents involving McCarrick are less headline-grabbingly horrifying“, so why is the DA not doing his/her job? Crimes were committed, hundreds of times, over and over again, yet we see no convictions, we see no culling of the acts by these priest. When you see all the evidence stack up with a failing to convict and as I see it: “before the 88-year-old simply passes away in seclusion“, is not a verdict or punishment, it is merely a stage of house arrest with optional benefits.

The only thing it does is leave us with the clarity that ‘abuse is fine‘, which is weird, because I know it to be 100% wrong, so why are people sitting on their hands? Why are people trivialising the fact that globally thousands of victims were created and the Catholic Church did next to nothing? At present there are 22 US senators who are Catholic, and how many of them have been active towards the prosecution of these clerics?

Even as lawmakers have passed a bill that would force priests to disclose information about child sexual abuse that they hear in the sacrament of Confession, we see in the Catholic sun that Archbishop José H. Gómez, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was “deeply disappointed”, which we cannot accept, that feeling of disappointment is a mere 15,235 allegations too late, a stage where we see that there are up to 15,235 victims in the US alone and for the longest time priests would cover for one another and more upsetting higher elements in the Church were part of the cover-up. It is when we consider the CruxNow (at https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/08/24/what-new-jersey-bishops-now-retired-knew-about-mccarrick-settlements/) and we take notice of “The Metuchen Diocese made settlements of $53,333 and $100,000, where one (2006) was regarding a former priest who said he had been abused by McCarrick and others. This priest submitted the first known written complaint about McCarrick“, this puts Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski in the firing line, yet we also acknowledge that he also reported the offenses to law enforcement, yet what actions were taken are not known to me at present. Yet this indicates that at least a Cardinal or higher had to be aware of it as early as 2006, giving us 13 years of danger to more victims. However, to get back to Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski, you see Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington was never informed of the settlements according to the Catholic News agency. It gives questions when we read: “Cardinal Wuerl said last week that he was never informed that those settlements had been reached“, it leaves the actions of Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski open for debate and investigation. The fact that Richard Sipe personally wrote a letter to Benedict XVI in 2008 stating the hazard that is Theodore Edgar McCarrick (source: New York times, 2018) supports the view that the events were known in the very top of the Vatican, and as such, how can we remain comfortable as Catholics? I certainly do not feel comfortable at all.

When we realise that the Vatican was informed again in 2000 and 2006, yet in the end nothing was done for decades, that is the larger evil in all this and it is right there within the Vatican. The fact that according to news that McCarrick lives currently at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas and not in prison is really beyond me, the fact that the Washington Post gave us three hours ago that the Vatican imposed restrictions, but did not enforce them (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/private-letters-indicate-the-vatican-imposed-but-didnt-enforce-restrictions-on-former-cardinal-mccarrick/2019/05/28/dc3ca440-814f-11e9-b585-e36b16a531aa_story.html), gives rise to additional issues on several levels, yet if there is hope to be seen it does not come from the very top, but from the other side as Rev. Anthony Figueiredo, it is also in that article that we are made aware of “Cardinal Wuerl has previously stated — and he reiterates again — that he was not aware of any imposition of sanctions or restrictions related to any claim of abuse or inappropriate activity by Theodore McCarrick“, this ‘revelation’ is not about Cardinal Wuerl but on Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski, consider where McCarrick went, what kind of a danger he would optionally be to the people there; it is my personal view that the bishop created a dangerous place of intentional harm by keeping quiet, how Christian is that? How Christian are we when we merely accept that there is no prosecution to a lot more members of the clergy?

When we see: ‘Why ‘moderate’ Muslims need to speak loudly against terror‘, yet we also see that we do nothing against the Vatican on these transgressions, where is the greater evil, in the Vatican or in Mecca? Most Christians would consider Mecca to be ‘evil’ yet as we allow for the Vatican transgressions, can we even tell what evil is and what it looks like?

In the 80’s I knew what evil was and what it looked like. I felt like a proud Catholic going up against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah. Today I am still against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, yet from those days I am not certain that my mind was playing for the right team, as such my mind wanders all over the place. What do you do when you learn after half a century that would have played for the wrong team? I know that Christians were never innocent, there is plenty of evidence that they wiped at least 17 civilisations from existence, the fact that Catholics are optionally to be seen as an internal cancer that is destroying itself from within is far more dangerous. If we are here to give rise to a better soul and the messenger cannot be trusted to protect our soul, where are we left?

If sexual abuse is fine, and we are no longer able to tell the falsehood of that, how doomed are we really? It is at this point that I recollect (in reality I searched for this) the Quran, specifically Taha 20:102: “The Day when the trumpet shall be blown, and on that day we shall gather the sinners together, blue-eyed (- the spiritually blind ones)“, to be honest ever since I saw Spotlight (2016) I have felt like a blind man, when you fear the people you would easily trust, how deep is the trouble that Christians face and how utterly wrongful has the Vatican reacted to all this, and how many more mistakes will they willingly make to let it all go away under cover of denial, settlement and ignorance towards the victims that they created?

I wonder if we learn the truth of that in time, all of us.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Politics, Religion

The aid package

People on a global scale, no matter what religion they preach, they have an inherent need for humanitarian action. It shows that people remain people, they have feelings and emotion. Especially now, in the Muslim month of Ramadan, which according to the Britannica is “a time for Muslims to practice self-restraint, in keeping with ṣawm (Arabic: “to refrain”), one of the pillars of Islam (the five basic tenets of the Muslim religion). Although ṣawm is most commonly understood as the obligation to fast during Ramadan, it is more broadly interpreted as the obligation to refrain between dawn and dusk from food, drink, sexual activity, and all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts.” Yet Time.com (as well as other sources give us: “Muslims believe that following these practices during Ramadan will lead to self-purification, self-control and bring them closer to Allah. Many Muslims also attend special prayer services, read verses of the Quran and engage in charity“, these are words I read before in other places. Yet it is here that we see the questions rise. First is Qatar with ‘Qatar to send $480m to help Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/07/qatar-send-480m-help-palestinians-west-bank-gaza-israel-ceasefire), this sounds all on the up and up, and I have no reason to give doubt here, and with “Qatar’s foreign ministry said $300m would go towards supporting health and education programmes of the Palestinian Authority, while $180m would go toward urgent humanitarian relief, UN programmes and providing electricity” we see this reinforced. Yet the article also gives us: “Although Qatar does not give money directly to Hamas, its support since 2012, totalling $755m, has been a vital lifeline for the cash-strapped group, relieving it from having to fund civilian and infrastructure projects“, which now brings to bare the issue of other funding as Hamas was able to afford missile barrage after missile barrage. I am not placing blame on Qatar, or other Islamic charities, but I am left with the thought. If you give any junkie money for food, and he then uses his other funds to buy drugs because the junkie knows that he will get the charity for food, are we as a people inflicting harm and additional hardship on the junkie? It makes me reflect on the act through ‘refrain from all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts‘. It also gives rise to the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48147066) where we see: ‘Taliban rejects calls for Ramadan truce in Afghanistan‘, and as we are given: “President Ashraf Ghani agreed to a truce provided it was not “one-sided”. But the Taliban rejected the call and accused members of being government allies.” does the month of Ramadan allow for this? If not, does that make them bad Muslims? I am not stating it, I am asking this.

Why is this so important?

To comprehend certain parts of Islam we need to dive deeper in what we do not know and even if there is no direct requirement to know what the Taliban does (most of us do not care), the news has been giving us other versions. The Express (at https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1122649/isis-news-latest-terror-france-jihadist-police-elysee-palace) gives us that the French stopped an ISIS attack. With ‘ISIS planned ‘violent’ attack on French palace say police‘ we see “According to AFP, the suspects had several targets, the unnamed source said, but their overall objective was to launch an attack on security forces, namely those “standing guard outside the Elysée Palace”. The men, arrested last Friday on suspicion of acquiring weapons “with a view to committing a terrorist act” are currently in provisional detention and awaiting trial. The would-be terrorists, who had been under police surveillance since early February, were spotted outside the Elysée Palace in central Paris on a reconnaissance mission shortly before their arrest“, whilst the Malayan version of the Daily Express (at http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/134811/no-hate-speech-during-ramadan-mosques-told/) gives us ‘No hate speech during Ramadan, mosques told‘, as well as “We will act firmly the actions of labelling a person as deviant and calling others infidels because mosques must be free from political party ideologies. “We must guard our mouths from uttering slander during Ramadan because it can create numerous problems which can break up families,’’ he told a media conference after launching a Let’s Celebrate Ramadan programme in the compound of the Kerian district mosque, here, Saturday.” An American might trivialise it as seeing someone from ISIS as a fake Muslim, I merely wonder on the application to Islam and Muslim faith in this case.

It is also increased pressure on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We read (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1494481/saudi-arabia) ‘Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures‘, these people under the guidance of Brig. Abdullah Al-Qurashi, director of Civil Defence in Makkah are prepared through 38 fixed civil defence centres, supported by 24 seasonal centres, in addition to 27 intervention points and 30 civil defence posts stationed in The Grand Mosque in Makkah to provide aid and assistance to pilgrims. And when you think that this is a lot, consider that the mataf area would accommodate more than 107,000 people per hour, there will be 500,000 headsets for worshippers getting access to 10 languages of the 679 lessons and lectures that are to be delivered during Ramadan. I have seen a few Christian places, I have been to Lourdes, yet I have a problem trying to comprehend the concept of 100,000 people an hour. It amounts to the entire population of Adelaide (Australia), Birmingham (UK), Dallas (US) or Calgary (CA) EVERY day for a month. For the pilgrims this has not gone unnoticed, as there was high praise for the king, government and local authorities from pilgrims from as far away as Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan, with many thousands of Muslims traveling from across the world to Saudi Arabia to attend prayers at the mosque during Ramadan. Yet a lot of this is merely seen in the Arab News and Gulf News, even as plenty of respectable papers give light to this, we see a movement as the number of respectable papers is winding down, so is the amount of information given to non-Muslims. The Sydney Morning Herald also gives us: “just as Christian holy seasons such as Christmas and Easter have become commercialised, Ramadan is increasingly associated with night-time festivities and binge eating. While, traditionally, the fasting day ends with a feast, in modern times people often attend Ramadan events at hotels and restaurants and, combined with the lower activity of fasting days, can even find themselves gaining weight during the holy month“, which is fair enough and not to be seen in a negative light, I found the images from the Four Seasons hotel lightly overwhelming, almost like a Victorian Christmas diner setup. For me, the entire issue is not an issue, although I see (read: expect additional) danger of not drinking water during the day a health issue (from my non-medical view), the Sydney Morning Herald reinforced that with: “In the Gulf states, a spike in attendances at hospitals has been reported, with problems ranging from dehydration to uncontrolled diabetes, as well as injuries from traffic accidents attributed to drowsiness“.

Errors in thinking

The first thing I accept is that I am looking at Muslim matters with a Christian eye, that is my background and I know that if I wonder about things plenty of others got at that point long before me, it is the educational part that remains lagging for me, I am not a Muslim, yet at the same moment, the image and message from one, whilst we see issues handed to us in opposition. One such view was given to me from Kuwait by Al Waqyan, in a nation that is 99% Muslim. There I was given ‘Kuwaiti journalist criticizes ban on ‘public eating’ during Ramadan‘. Now, from a Christian point I would agree, yet knowing that 99% of that nation is either fasting or trying to fast, would his view not allow for a larger pressure on those fasting? Perhaps the old movie example where a prisoner in the age of the crusades are watching the jailer just outside of reach have a large feast whilst the prisoners are begging for food. Would it not be cruel and unusual punishment to be faced with a large meal when a person should be fasting? I understand that there are conditions when a person cannot fast, yet is it too much to ask for that person to do it in private or not in view of other people?

I found the fact that there is a level of polarisation interesting, not because of what I believe, but the fact that it is in a stage where all the contestants are seemingly Muslim. I would personally be on the side of: “some believe it’s appropriate to apply it in Muslim majority countries“, there are plenty of moments when no one can see anything and having a quick sip of water then would be acceptable. It is perhaps the only part that I see happen, there is absolutely no situation where a person should be able to eat in public view anywhere, not when a person could be at home to have a bite to eat.

The opportunity

This is where we see the opportunity, when we are given ‘Saudi Arabia’s Hajj Ministry launches new interactive portal‘, we see the place that gives us (at present) “The new portal will provide more than 30 services for pilgrims, available in Arabic, English and French, with an average of 55 pages per language. Four more languages will be added in the near future.” Most people, especially 100% of the pilgrims will see this as an excellent idea and it is. What it allows for is a much larger option; it could become a start for non-Muslims to learn more about Islam, to learn more on what is unknown. When we consider that optionally in western languages there are ‘the 679 lessons and lectures‘ that shows the spirit of Islam in the stage where it is all about the season of inner reflection, forgiveness and spiritual renewal. As such the sacred month of Ramadan might open a moment to introduce to those unaware of Islam the resources that allow us to oppose Islamophobia as well as diminish the options that anti Islamist groups like pagida and others are growing all over Western Europe, the US and the Commonwealth nations. I personally believe that education is a first step in diminishing the powers that they have. It does not requires us to become Muslim, it does not require us to agree, but at least we will be properly educated and informed and history has shown that this is a first step in slowing down and stopping the haters, and that is never ever a bad thing. Knowledge can be an exemplary aid package, it is time we all used that option to the fullest.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics, Religion

Moby’s Dick

5G is the phrase and the bad part is that the media is shouting what others say and they are not very informative, they are all about bashing Huawei. What is interesting is how bad the situation is in the USA. If 5G is a huge white sperm whale, we need to realise that most people in the telecom retail field are no more than a subversion of some Ahabraham and they are not even holding a spear, merely sucking its dick.

Lifewire however (at https://www.lifewire.com/5g-availability-us-4155914) gives us two elemental parts that most cannot see through all given BS online. I made mention of this setting before (last week at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/02/03/facebook-folly-and-5g/) in the article called ‘Facebook Folly and 5G‘ where I mentioned the news by VentureBeat: “So as we are given: “As reported by VentureBeat, Verizon has detailed that it won’t have true 5G hardware for its 5G Home service ready until later this year. That means expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston won’t be likely until the second half of 2019“, how many people have figured out that ‘expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston‘ implies the largest part of the USA and they are not up for anything before 2020 (and that is me being optimistic)” We see Lifewire giving us both: “It’s also possible that other larger cities like New York City and Chicago will have access to Verizon’s 5G service in 2019“, as well as “However, because the company won’t have standards-based 5G hardware until late 2019, 5G service might stay within the four cities mentioned above — at least for now“. So it is not exactly news, but it is more revealing than most are giving us. Australia added to all with the article in the WA Today. There we see (at https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/western-australia/it-was-a-strange-approach-ex-navy-admiral-opens-up-over-huawei-job-20190208-p50wja.html) ““The purpose within Huawei is to oversight the way that we manage our people, look after them, etc., that’s the role it plays with Huawei,” Mr Lord said. “Everything in Huawei is done for the benefit of the people and the shareholders.” Mr Lord said he referred allegations about Huawei to the parent company in China. “Most of the allegations just don’t come with any proof,” he said. “Whenever there’s a doubt, an allegation made, I query it, I get a solid response. “I don’t from the people making the allegations. I don’t get any proof.”” With this we see a real solid response from former rear admiral John Lord, an actual person with established credibility.

In the last 2 years none of the American claims held any water, yet the press has been too reluctant to assault that part. The truth of the matter is that all media for the most merely adheres to the needs of the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers. America is still big business when it comes to advertisement.

So when it comes to dubious people like Rob Strayer (the US State Department’s top cyber official), when we see: “allowing Huawei and other Chinese companies into their next-generation telecommunications networks would allow Beijing to expand its surveillance state around much of the globe“, it comes lacking evidence, lacking up to the amount of 97.5% of evidence. America has become about fear, fear because they played the iterative game or a decade and when a true step forward was required the US could no longer keep up, they were lazy and complacent for too long. In addition to the previous statement we see in addition “A country that uses data in the way China has – to surveil its citizens, to set up credit scores and to imprison more than 1 million people for their ethnic and religious background – should give us pause about the way that country might use data in the future,” this is given to us whilst the US has been doing something similar to its citizens? They do not call it ‘imprisonment’, they merely set unbearable premiums to essential services and cost of living, they hand over data to third parties and let the mess run itself, limiting people and what they have access to more and more and that has been seen for a decade. Bloomberg gave us merely two days ago: “Trade should be free. The gold standard is archaic. Antitrust should protect consumers rather than punish bigness. Tax rates should be (modestly) higher for the rich. Government should run big deficits during recessions to support growth but get frugal during good times to reduce debt.” It sounds nice in theory, yet this requires commitment and Americans have no clue what commitment is, unless it is linked to the need for greed. This America is so polarised we see the protectionism of President Trump versus the socialism of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and neither path is a great one, they both have flaws and neither will consent to the golden path in the middle, because the gold in that path needs to be sold to pay for the outstanding interest payment due on the American debt for June 2019, and every month it takes 5 weeks to acquire enough just to make the monthly interest payment, so the entire 5G part is essential for America to stay afloat, a plan that is set to fail. It is the plan behind what some call ‘fixing American capitalism‘ because the capitalists are calling the shots and they who made it into that club do not give a hoot for those outside of that club.

This is an important element, because even now, as America is on their ‘European Tour’ for the 5G anti-Huawei wave, we saw only yesterday the Bloomberg News ‘German Government Rules Out Huawei Ban in 5G Expansion, Official Says‘, you see when it is about BS (read: cow manure) versus results, results always win and Huawei has the goods, they have the result advantage and that is where the USA gets themselves into trouble. There is of course the example 2 decades ago of some Colin Powell with a silver briefcase giving us the ‘WMD presence presentation in Iraq‘, you all remember how that ended, right?

As Germany and others adapt the “subjecting all potential service providers to stringent security standards”, America sees that they are in another presentation war and they are about to lose that one. If they had only stopped being complacent about their technology remaining in an iterative field! So when I am all about selling my IP to either Google or Huawei, I am no longer in a place where I am certain that Google is the best solution of the two, it is after all in America. Even as a global company that will optionally bite for them down the road. In addition we see: “Telecommunication companies have warned about costs that would arise if Huawei were cut out of supplying 5G equipment. Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG has warned that Europe would fall behind the U.S. and China in 5G with such a move” a stage that the Australians are already watching becoming a reality, there only Telstra wins and that is fine by too many people who are seat holders in the capitalist game, for them the playing field is never allowed to be plain and level.

And there we get to the true issue, the issue that Bloomberg (one of the few) gave proper light to (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-24/huawei-stokes-u-s-fear-with-low-cost-networking-gear-that-works)  : ‘Another Reason U.S. Fears Huawei: Its Gear Works and It’s Cheap‘, marketing can hide behind levels of deception the AT&T issue) relabelling 4G LTE ‘5G Evolution’ an event that is gaining momentum in the news, especially as Sprint is suing AT&T now over deceptive conduct. Lifewire and others are showing that outside of a few cities there will be no actual functional 5G until at least 2020 and that whilst we now see that Zain Saudi is using Nokia for their: ‘Zain Saudi, Nokia conduct 4.9G pilot to boost capacity and customer experience with 5G-ready massive MIMO active antenna on 2.6 GHz‘, they are clear it is not 5G, it is 4.9G, yet the infrastructure is set now to run the pilot, it gives users above 700 Mbps, which is extreme broadband whilst the hardware will need replacement to make it true 5G, we see that parts of the infrastructure are now actively being tested. They are merely one step away from the stat that was given last year august, the then given claim “Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is expected to commercially launch the fifth generation (5G) network by mid-2019” is now almost there, on time and with the 3GGPS specs. America is not merely falling behind; it is starting to trail the entire stage at best. With their non-actions on AT&T for too long, for their claims on national security that have not been met with ANY evidence on all this. They are all hiding behind the claim makers with pretty degrees and actual evidence did not present itself in any way, shape or form.

When the Saudi even is the success, we will see the EU making a very sharp turn in another direction, they cannot afford another American fuck up. After the Iraq WMD, 2004 and 2008 collapses, America is playing with a strike three against them. And it gets to be worse. Reuters confirmed only a few hours ago (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-hungary-pompeo/pompeo-visit-to-focus-on-us-concerns-over-huawei-in-central-europe-idUSKCN1PX1RS): ‘Pompeo visit to focus on U.S. concerns over Huawei in central Europe‘ with “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will voice concerns about the growing presence of China’s Huawei Technologies in central Europe when he visits Hungary, Slovakia and Poland next week, a senior U.S. official said on Friday as Washington tries to bolster ties with a region it acknowledges it has neglected“, America has resorted to playing its political game. Going to places with beads and baubles trying to impress the people they can still impress with a suit, another silver case presentation, yet this time around without the silver briefcase. They hope to get discord in the EU by playing the individual members against one another, from my personal point of view it will be because the US is soon out of options to pay their interest on the 21 trillion debt they have no way of dealing with. Their greatest option would have been to dispose of their iterative play, but the capitalists in charge decided that it would cost them too much, now it will optionally cost them everything.

So even as Moby’s dick is out in front, the players know that is expected, they do not need to grab their ankles, they merely have to swallow whatever comes next, there will be an aftertaste, but that is what they signed up for, if that is not what they wanted, they should have embraced innovation a lot more than they did. So, now we will (optionally) get to watch the people in Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and Dammam watch their 5G connection, making it one third of the Saudi population with optional mobile access to 5G, consider that stage where Huawei, Samsung and Nokia being the only three options in 5G mobiles, now see that in the earlier light where the US will only have partial 5G in less than a dozen cities. They can cry ‘we are larger’ for all they want, yet the stage is not that they are larger, they were surpassed by what Americans describe as ‘a third world nation’, so how is that as an achievement?

So as Americans hide behind “The United States was particularly worried about Huawei’s influence in small eastern and central European countries where it was easy for China to penetrate state systems, the U.S. official said” without any supporting evidence, we are merely watching that nation lose footing, a nation that merely embraced greed and the need for greed without the consideration that a greed game is one sided and never ever goes the way of anyone but a small group that merely cares about self above everything else.

It fits the bill rather nicely, Ahab and his obsession, willing to sacrifice everyone else, willing to set reason aside in all this. That is what we see with the 5G whale, we see accusations without proof, without proper vetting of evidence, and the media to a larger extent is just as guilty, eager to get the goods from all without properly vetting the stage, and as papers basically repeated what they were given, like the T-Mobile case, whilst it is out in the open that “In a 2017 civil lawsuit, Huawei was ordered to pay T-Mobile $4.8 million in damages. The two companies later reached a private settlement. In a statement, Huawei, which denies wrongdoing, says allegations in the Tappy case were “already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim.”” America has become that desperate. So how does it help anyone to feed that machine of desperate stupidity, even as it was decided that: ‘a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim‘.

When we give weight to the elements, how obsessed has America become in regards to their White Whale? Why is the media not properly looking at that part or the equation?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics, Science

Oven for (a) Turkey

Yes, normally the life of a turkey is not good, not in the week preceding November 22nd. Yet, that is not the only case, if you are not covered in feathers and let’s say a nation in Europe, at present; your chances are not that much better.

This we see in several settings.

We have all seen the news, the issues around Turkey, their hatred of Kurdistan and the acts that followed through that hatred. Not just the Erdogan setting where one president has been playing any end against the middle in Europe, Yemen and Syria. The simple setting where Saide Inac, 47, who goes by the artistic name Hozan Cane has been detained on June 22 in the western province of Edirne while attending campaign events of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) leading up to Sunday’s parliamentary and presidential elections. Yet, that is not enough, yes this comedy (or is that tragedy) is set where this German-Kurdish singer has been remanded in custody in Turkey on terrorism-related charges. Normally, we would await more info. Yet the Deutsche Welle gives us in addition: “The terror charges against her reportedly relate to scenes she plays in a movie about genocide against Yazidis in Iraq”. That reads as hilarious as optionally reading in the Washington Post that: ‘Emily Blunt was arrested today on suspicion of Manslaughter against her husband and famous movie director John Krasinski, she had reportedly taken him to ‘A Quiet Place’; the man has not been seen for some time‘, so yes, when we compare the issues, where a 35 year young-ling a mere 171 cm tall, took out 191 cm John Krasinsky, who, if I need to remind you looked so gung-ho in the movie 13 hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi that he made Dwayne Johnson look like a pussy. That is the reflective truth of what Saide Inac is going through. Arrested for terrorism and because she played scenes in a movie. So as the Deutsche Welle gives us the goods (at https://www.dw.com/en/kurdish-german-singer-hozan-cane-arrested-in-turkey-on-terrorism-charges/a-44420346), we are wondering whether this is an act of pure stupidity, or is it the Turkish way of saber rattling making Germany give in on some other point of argument they couldn’t win in any other way.

So that is what Turkey has become. Instilling xenophobia, which might be another way to instill the Turkish need for racism and discrimination. It goes even further when we consider the Al Jazeera, where we see: ‘Jordan, Palestine and Saudi Arabia warn Israel against Turkey‘, the influence is apparently growing in Eastern Jerusalem. We can argue that this is merely Turkey seeking the limelight in any way they can, or we can go with the presumption that this is Turkey showing itself to be the tool of Iran.

So when we are treated to: “The report notes that senior officials from the three Arab countries told Israel that Turkey was “extending its influence in Arab neighbourhoods of Jerusalem” which they said was “part of an attempt by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “claim ownership over the Jerusalem issue.”“, we need to see that there are different issues in play here. As the Jerusalem Post reported 3 weeks ago, the economic part of “They were at about $2.5 billion in 2016, and in the first 10 months of 2017, Turkish exports to Israel went up another 14%. Turkey’s state air carrier, Turkish Airlines, is also the second most popular airline out of Tel Aviv after El Al, Joseph Dana reported in an opinion piece written for The National.“, it seems strange that such levels of export are endangered as there are plenty of European nations willing to take over such a lucrative contract and as European facilitators replace Turkish Airlines, the state coffers would get an additional hit in a time that they cannot afford to report additional economic bad news, so what gives?

On one side it seems far-fetched that Turkey would make a rash move on such fronts. We can accept to some degree that the setting of opening an embassy is one setting, yet the quote we see is: “Turkey intends to open an embassy in east Jerusalem, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders for the world to recognize it as the capital of Palestine“, an interesting setting, as history gives us: “Jerusalem is an ancient city located in ancient Judah that is now the capital of Israel. The city has a history that goes back to the 4th millennium BCE, making it one of the oldest cities in the world“, so not only does President Erdogan not have a case, we could equally offer the setting that after that it was property of Italy (and the people of Rome), so there is a second claim, then we get Caliph Umar who decided to travel to Jerusalem in person to receive the submission of the city in April 637, he came from a family that originally controlled Mecca. The Quraysh opposed Muhammad until converting to Islam, giving Saudi Arabia the next claim. After that Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095 decided that it was Christian holy land and began the first Crusades. In all this, Turkey has no right of proclamation in any way, so why set the stage for economic segregation? If we are to give any value to George Antonius, founder of modern Arab nationalist history, who wrote in his 1938 publication The Arab Awakening: “the term ‘Arab’ in Palestine denotes nowadays not merely the incomers from the Arabian Peninsula who occupied the country in the seventh century, but also the older populations who intermarried with their conquerors, acquired their speech, customs and ways of thought and became permanently arabised“, so a blend of other identities. Whilst Bernard Lewis gives us: “the original inhabitants were never entirely obliterated, but in the course of time they were successively Judaized, Christianized, and Islamized. Their language was transformed to Hebrew, then to Aramaic, then to Arabic“, so an adjusted population, we cannot fault these people to that a pragmatic approach to the situation, yet the given in the centuries before does not give the statement that President Erdogan give any value at all, merely an impressed point of view, which he is welcome to have in Turkey.

So form the setting, this is not about Palestine, their cause, their choices or their belief; it is the Turkish setting we see here. Even as we see changes, we see positive ones and dangerous ones. Reuters gave us this week ‘Erdogan says Turkey will continue advancing in Syria’, with the setting “Turkey will continue to “liberate Syrian lands” so that refugees can return to Syria safely, President Tayyip Erdogan said in an election victory speech on Monday“, so how does the Syrian President ‘feel’ about the Turkish version of ‘liberation’?

As Reuters gave us: “Assad, who said in the same interview he would not accept Western funds to rebuild his country, was speaking after Damascus said it rejected the presence of Turkish and U.S. forces around the northern town of Manbij, a day after soldiers of the two countries began patrolling the area” last Sunday, the question becomes why is Turkey still there. If they are there to accept President Assad, is not his word the one that counts? My views are supported by Newsweek as we see their part from yesterday (at http://www.newsweek.com/why-wont-us-stop-russia-iran-syria-asks-opposition-leader-government-moves-1000312). The quote is “Nasr al-Hariri, the secretary-general of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, told reporters Thursday in the Saudi capital of Riyadh that it was “shameful” for the U.S. not to act as a ceasefire brokered last year between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s top military ally Russia and opposition supporters the U.S. and Jordan collapsed, the Associated Press reported“, the US actions are not in question, the issue becomes that Iran is the transgressor here, as is optionally Russia. Yet the setting is that Turkey was singled out as not welcome, Iran and Russia were not, that sets a different stage and even as we accept that Iran is the greater threat. Syrian forces have not proclaimed them to be not welcome.

In addition, Turkey makes even more waves in Israel as see (at https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/246156), where we are given “Jerusalem City Councilman Aryeh King tells Arutz Sheva correspondent how Turkey is posting illegal signs in and around Old City“, in addition we see ““The Turkish government that daily attacks Israel and collaborates with the terrorists in Gaza – they are putting signs around the walls of the Old City, and the Israeli government and the municipality of Jerusalem … are not taking care of these Illegal signs,” King said“, so we hear the video state that there are allegation against Turkey, yet is this truly a Turkish act, or is it an act from Hezbollah to start a military flame that cannot be stopped too easily.

So there is caution that needs to be set, a sign in Turkish with a Turkish government proclamation does not make it so and we need to realise that it is equally likely that Iran is playing the ‘tool’ card here and if the reactions are not careful the outfall may be a lot larger than we can correct for.

The entire month we have been treated to the interactions and it is important to play the game with caution, because at present, we must recognise that Turkey is merely planning to open an embassy in eastern Jerusalem, whilst on the same front they are stating ‘the capital of Palestine’, a wrongful opinion, that is still their right to make (whether correct or not), the Embassy play is possible because the US opened one there, so that puts the state of Israel in an awkward light if the Turkish embassy is suddenly rejected. The rest is a different kind of ginger. Who are the actual players? Is it Turkey, Iran or Hezbollah? That part is not easily answered and until the evidence is brought to light, no actual finding can be regarded as absolute.

Another place where Turkey is active is off course anything related to Iran. The setting is that Turkey refuses to stop importing Iranian crude oil and we might side one way or another yet is there any legal recourse? With India stopping the Iranian import, the Iranian economic outlook is even worse than the worst settings we saw earlier, in this is Turkey playing too dangerously? In the setting where we see Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci giving us: ““The decisions taken by the United States on this issue are not binding for us. Of course, we will follow the United Nations on its decision. Other than this, we will only follow our own national interests,” Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said as quoted by daily Hurriyet, adding that “we will pay attention so our friend Iran will not face any unfair actions.”“, the academic question becomes ‘Does Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci have a point?

The UN removed the trade restriction, even as the US and EU are enforcing them, what legal foundation is there? You see, at the heart of the matter is that United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 where the removal of UN sanctions against Iran were removed. Even when we consider the Deutsche Welle 2 years ago with ‘Iran missile tests defied UN resolution, say US and European allies‘, the setting is that this was not illegal, the quotes “Council diplomats said the case for new UN sanctions on Iran was weak. Moreover, Western officials said that although the launches went against 2231, they were not a violation of the core nuclear agreement between Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States” and “The letter from the four powers stopped short of calling the Iranian launches a “violation” of the resolution, which calls for Iran to refrain for up to eight years from activity, including launches, related to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Diplomats say key powers agree the resolution’s language is not legally binding and cannot be enforced through the use of sanctions or military force” these two are directly the setting. We cannot state as evidence as it is or is not nuclear advancements and as elected legal minds more experienced than me state that the setting is not legally binding, Turkey has a case that it can continue. That is the setting we see ourselves in and even as we see more and more flak coming from the US and the EU, there is no given that Turkey is actually out of bounds on this one setting. It seems that the setting is to some extent hypocrite in actions against Turkey and that too must be stated. The reasoning is that the quotes given by Turkey are also confirmed with “At the same time, oil importers including Japan, South Korea, and India, as well as European countries have said they will continue buying Iranian crude“, even as India is turning that setting back, Japan is not and exactly how many sanctions is America now imposing on Japan?

In all fairness, that too must be stated and even as I think that Turkey has been playing a much too dangerous game involving themselves with Iran on other fronts, we need to scale back some of the dialogues and find the accepted legal frames that are in play, if we do not do that, then we are merely catering to the EU and US to what refer to as their bully tactics and we should be better than that.

The complications seen on the political arena are expanding and as such whatever chance there was for EU ascension, the cold legal light should have clearly communicated that there was no chance for EU membership for Turkey, they undid the small chances they had long before the previous election s were held, so the French ‘special status’ remarks were all hot air with no direction and even less substance. It is seen through Reuters as they gave us “In a statement, the EU General Affairs Council said Brussels could not open any more ‘chapters’ or policy areas in accession talks or modernise the EU-Turkey customs union due to Ankara’s failure to meet European standards in various areas” yesterday, yet that setting had been clear for well over a year, so the end signal is merely a small light of cowardice from several political players.

In all this, part if the hardship that Turkey s facing is due to their own reactions, over reactions, as well as some non-actions in too many political fields. Turkey has every right to do them, yet they are held to account and the balance at this point is not good. Just how bad things will get is depending on some of the events playing out in Jerusalem right now. Whatever happens next, they will also see red lights coming from the US and not merely on their oil activities, even as that might be the one most media will be loudly referring to.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Military, movies

Mining the Ocean

We might look at how Dow dropped 1175 points; we might in equal measure react to the act that Yemeni Houthi’s have decided to perform another attempt to send missiles into the Saudi civilian populations, all factual events of the last day alone. Yet that is not the initial issue that I am looking at. These are short term events and the media loves them because they get to report on the event, the proclaimed solution and the actual solutions. All follow up stories and the media loves them for the coin they tend to bring to their personal pockets. So it was nice to get a look at Saturday’s article by Jonathan Watts who gave us a look at an upcoming disaster (at https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/feb/03/day-zero-cape-town-turns-off-taps), not in Saudi Arabia, but in Cape Town no less. Yet it must be said that what is good for the one, could potentially hit the other as well.

So when you initially read the caption, you might think that the quote “In 10 weeks engineers will turn off water for a million homes as this South African city reacts to a one-in-384-year drought” is no big deal. Let’s face it, an event that hits once every 7 to 8 generations is not really a big deal is it. Yet that is not really the part that matters. You see, when you see the pictures, not on merely the empty swimming pool, but the image on the Theewaterskloof dam and how we see on what was and what now is. When we realise that ‘Day Zero, the apocalyptically named point when water in the six-dam reservoir system falls to 13.5% of capacity‘, is upon them just as autumn is ending, is in my view a much larger issue. When we see the people in queues with as many jerry cans as they can carry, that same point of befuddlement is reached when you consider why alarms have not been ringing a lot earlier, or were they ignored? They were not! The official Cape Town page (at http://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-water-and-sanitation-services/Residential-water-restrictions-explained) gives us a lot. So as we see “A daily limit of 50 litres or less per person whether at home, work, school or elsewhere” we need to realise that 433 thousand people will still potentially drill down on 21.6 million litres of water every day. I am not putting any doubt on the 10 weeks until day zero, I merely wonder what else could be done to bring that number down and not to forget, that the WWF reported merely 4 days ago that only 39% of the Cape Town residents are adhering to these restrictions. The question becomes, when these restrictions began. For how long was there some plan of no-water, because the article gives us: “Greg Pillay: “We had to go back to the drawing board. We were prepared for disruption of supply, but not a no-water scenario. In my 40 years in emergency services, this is the biggest crisis.”“, it is fair that there was no plan and the fact that this happens once every 384 years makes the non-plan acceptable part, but the fact is that the empty dam pics should have been an alert stage when it had gone down to 50%, the restrictions to the degree as now might have been less severe pushing the reserves forward to a longer time. Now we see that the oddest thing will happen in 10 weeks, the taps will be turned off, no water from the taps. As seen the current 10%, who own up to 95% of all assets can likely afford, that each person buys a 20 ft. container filled with mineral water and ship it to their home, yet the other 90% will not have such an option setting a very dangerous situation, a very flammable and oddly fluid one to say the least.

the one good part is that Cape Town will start getting more rain by the time Day Zero approaches, so with April getting on average 300% more rain than the quarter before, and the steady incline in the months thereafter implies that the worst might be over, the dangers are that mother nature is a bitch on the best of days, so if they end up with a soft and warm winter the Cape Town goose ends up being most literally dry-cooked. There is just one other element. It is the one that they got to live with in Australia, these water catchments have no real purpose if the rain falls in the wrong place, so there is still that risk to look forward to.

So, why mention Saudi Arabia?

Well, Saudi Arabia has a similar drought pressures, yet they have additional issues as well. In Saudi Arabia, according to some sources groundwater extraction far exceed the level of natural recharge. The Al-Asha aquifer in the Eastern Province experienced a drop of 150 meters over the past 25 years. the National Geographic reported in 2015 that by 2012 80% of the aquifers had been depleted. That is one large setting whilst on taps the vein to find out in the first just how reliable those numbers are, but in the second degree as to how the impact on larger cities will become when the news brings them the story that ‘the fore mentioned source of water has been drained‘, because at that point the breakdown will be a lot larger when you consider 433 thousand in Cape Town versus 5.1 million in Riyadh. When that happens in one place, who long until Jeddah, Mecca and Medina follow? The problem is that there is no way to tell because there is no transparent oversight (an issue in many countries), there is no way to reliably forecast the issue and in all this the long terms impact of places that want to upgrade and maximise their economic potential sounds nice, but when the water level hits zero, everything stops, and right quick.

This might be the one long term danger that some are not looking hard enough at. so with: “Under the slogan “Bounties of our land,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih inaugurated the 12th International Geological Conference on Sunday and an accompanying exhibition at a local hotel in Jeddah“, is nice to propagate the Vision 2030, but it is still 12 years away and at present, the water mining issues as well as the water disruptions that are currently still happening (as stated by more than one source) would impact it all. The growth of infrastructures, the middle eastern heat that is about to hit Saudi Arabia for the next 6 months, whilst the rain will again decide to remain absent until December (speculated forecast), that alone would require a much higher priority to resolve water issues in Saudi Arabia, or at least give it additional priority. The fact that there are 27 plants in Saudi Arabia, creating millions of litres of water every day implies that perhaps it is time to see if this process can be improved upon and more important 9 more plants will be added to the need of Saudi Arabia. Now we can agree that Saudi Arabia has made massive strides here and the fact that they have upped it to 5 million cubic metres a day should not be underestimated. I am merely speculating that if someone finds a way to improve this process by 1%-5%, the impact for the water quality of life for Saudi’s would go straight through the roof, the impact is that large at present. In addition, the fact that for now the 36 plants would suffice in the short term, the long term is still not a given, that is because the need cannot be predicted. Here too it is about the data captured and to learn where the losses to the water cycles are found and how they can be prevented. More important, if mining is an initial issue now, how much of an issue will it be in 10 years, because depleted places could have other implications too, implication mind you! There is a lot that is not known, but it seems to me that both Saudi Arabia and South Africa will have issue to deal with over the coming year. Not just the water as needed for consumption, whatever else relies on water will also impact structural changes and even more drastic show an optional impact on infrastructure. Part of this was also seen last month (at http://meconstructionnews.com/27099/emerson-opens-new-tech-lab-in-saudi-arabia), where Emerson is set to a “new $25 million new technology and innovation centre at Dhahran Techno Valley, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia enables the company to host Saudi students, entrepreneurs, researchers and industry stakeholders to collaborate with its technical experts to develop process automation technologies and design products and solutions that, “meet the country’s goals.”“. Yet how much priority is given to design new ways to give rise to measuring and monitoring production, distribution and delivery of water solutions towards data collection, designed to contribute to longer term forecasting of water needs. You see, most of these systems tend to be short term, or when they are longer term they lose reliability because of a number of factors, so what happens when we can map and monitor the factors themselves? It is one of the powers that 5G could bring to an automation system, automated drone technologies that monitor and feed. This reminds me of a 2006 paper called ‘Modular learning models in forecasting natural phenomena‘ by Solomontine and Siek. Now in the paper we see in the abstract: “Comparison of the algorithms based on modular local modelling to the more traditional ‘global’ learning models on a number of benchmark tests and river flow forecasting problems shows their higher accuracy and transparency of the resulting models“, now what if the plant is the source of the river and the pipes are the river themselves. What if losses and therefor risks of these pipe systems could be mapped and correctly categorised? Only last year the Saudi Gazette reported (at http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/500157/SAUDI-ARABIA/Water-supply-disrupted-in-five-Jeddah-districts), “Residents of five districts in southeast Jeddah have complained about disruption of water supply to their homes after the National Water Company (NWC) changed its supply schedule. The residents of Al-Musaed, Quwaiza, Al-Nakheel, Al-Raghama and Al-Obaid districts in southeast Jeddah were mainly affected by the supply disruption“, now there can be all kinds of valid reasons why this happens, yet the official response was: “it was beyond their control as the quantity of water they receive from Shuaiba plants was less than what they received before“, the question is not whether, why or the issues of delivery, it is whether quantity of water changes can be measured and set into data models that give better forecasting, this is seen as that nations will soon face provision from 36 plants and any plan to rely on full production and let things run will have longer term problems. Knowing where water is going and what losses are measured will also give rise to initial better information and longer term better water measurement. In my view it is the same with almost every port in the world. It is not how much you ship and how many vessels you service, it is the one place where idle time is not monitored, that is the place where the cost of it all spins out of control really fast.

As I see it, both South Africa and optionally Saudi Arabia have a flaw in the long term view of water, from the articles South Africa is already past the initial point of worry from what I have read and I am speculating that Saudi Arabia has an optional issue growing as it is working towards Vision 2030, because when those tech firms start rolling in in 2031, Riyadh with all its growth could potentially grow by at least 10% in the short term, the question becomes whether Riyadh would be ready to service a jump that is twice the size of Cape Town? I have no way of knowing and it is not yet the point where it is out there, but Vision 2030 is only 12 years away and desalinisation plants do not grow overnight, which would be awesome if someone could design one that did so.

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics, Science