Tag Archives: Neom city

Nationalisation, the second tier

The news is fresh, it is new news, yet it was foreseen, it wasn’t really news, but the drive has come visible, much more visible than most expected. As some might focus on the Guardian and the image of a beautiful young lady as she is afraid for her life, as she seeks refugee status in Australia, we see all the men and many women feeling sorry for Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun. It might be correct, it might not. I do not know, yet what the Guardian is not telling you is seen in the Arab News (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1431206/saudi-arabia), there the news is: ‘Saudi Arabia goes full steam with Saudisation of sales jobs‘. I think it is good that any nation pushes for national held jobs, no matter what country it is happening in. So as we read: “Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced on Sunday that it would be providing citizens with job opportunities in an attempt to reduce unemployment. The job opportunities will be in sales roles, including medical equipment stores, construction and building materials shops, car spare parts shops, carpet shops and sweets shops, according to Saudi state news agency, SPA.” I think it is good that the news is seen, yet what about the impact? It is not a national thing, it is regional, Oman is doing the same, Qatar has been doing it for a while and the UAE is on a similar trend. If it works it is great, yet what everyone forgets is the announcements of 6 months ago, this basically impacts Google, Apple and a few other players (the FAANG group as a whole) as they were opening their offices in Saudi Arabia as well, so from the Saudi view it is great to be Saudi. Many people all over the world dream of a Google job and now we see that Saudi’s are added to that knowledge pool. And that is what it is a knowledge pool that can drive Arabian IP to a much larger extent. In light of Neom City, in light of new Financial Districts in Riyadh, we see the opportunity for growth, yet do these events constitute actual growth as that question is equally important.

If we accept the same news two days ago (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1430961/business-economy), we see that the headlines might give us ‘CEO of Saudi Arabia’s newest technology investment fund STV shoots for the moon‘, we might giggle, yet perhaps that same feeling came upon us when in 2001 a man named Mark Zuckerberg had an idea, how did that end? We can also consider that as Abdulrahman Tarabzouni is a MIT graduate, so he optionally has a better education than Mark Zuckerberg had (Harvard), which is me, myself and I starting a competitive flame between those two schools. The nice part here is that the STV (the investment fund) has half a billion to start with, so they can cream the best start-ups to truly grow their perspective and turn it into billions of wealth, if properly set their idea of a hundred times over might be conservative. We tend to not look into those directions, yet the ownership of IP is not merely an essential it is a wealth maker and a wealth breaker and as an MIT graduate he would (read: should) be able to see the difference between the wheat and chaff, it makes for all the difference.

Even as the Arab News introduces in opposition: “Some analysts point to two difficulties in the STV strategy: The high valuations of the global technology sector, and the comparatively high levels of geopolitical risk associated with the region, and the Kingdom, in the minds of some foreign investors.” We need to recognise that being first implies the avoidance of ‘high valuations of the global technology sector‘, the second part is ‘geopolitical risk associated with the region‘; that second part might not be zero, yet there is no clear danger to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition as the footing of Iran diminishes the growth of Saudi Arabia will flourish, as well as the fact that the involvement and connections of Abdulrahman Tarabzouni with Saudi Aramco, Careem, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Microsoft, Syphir tech company, Google, Member of investment committee, Middle East Venture Partners, as well as advisory roles at public and technology institutions in KSA, it would be my personal believe that if this person cannot navigate the rivers of political risk, no one would ever be safe to invest in Saudi Arabia and as we see billions from the FAANG group go that way soon enough, we can pretty much consider the second risk a dud in all that (for now).

The progress that Saudi Arabia is showing in 5G, now equalling the largest players on the western hemisphere shows not only the commitment for the Middle East, it shows that Saudi Arabia is taking the non-petroleum options extremely serious. It goes even further when we consider the news a mere 4 hours ago: “T-Mobile CEO to regulators: China is beating US on fast 5G wireless but our Sprint deal can change that“, how exactly will that happen? Merging Sprint and T-Mobile sounds nice, but they still lack higher technology equipment, Huawei beat them and the longer these players remain in denial, the larger the damage and that is where the STV can cash in. Any Huawei linked technology start-up has close to a 20% advantage over anything else. Let’s not forget that players like Verizon are not really using 5G, or as they say 5G Evolution, which I discussed in ‘Tic Toc Ruination‘, where we see: “We are given “Verizon’s network is not yet 3GPP compliant. It uses Verizon’s own 5G specification, but will be upgraded to be 3GPP compliant in the future“, so does that mean that it is merely a Verizon issue opening the market for Sprint, or are they both involved in that same pool of marketed pool to some form of ‘5G’ branding, and not the standard?” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/06/tic-toc-ruination/), something clearly seen from various sources a month ago, so how was their technology backdrop solved? It was not! I made additional observations in ‘That did not take long‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/22/that-did-not-take-long-2/) where we see: “we are (again) confronted with what Neville Ray CTO of T-Mobile calls: ‘duping customers into thinking they’re getting something they’re not‘, America will not end dead last here, but they will be trailing (as currently is implied) behind more than one Middle East Arabic nation“, an observation I made on December 22nd last year, so not only am I proven right a few times over, the fact that for what I observe to be high paid people hiding behind presentations and wording whilst not having the actual goods is merely the facade of defeat presenting itself as ‘innovative opportunity‘, so we are watching these people heralding their Edsel whilst it is about to go up against the Maserati Gran Turismo and optionally the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Sedan as well, and in what Universe does the Edsel have any kind of a chance? Parking perhaps (it is not that big) but how can you see innovative technology as innovation when parking is your only way to shine?

the sad part is that I have been talking to stone walls for 2 years now, the upside is that when they fail I have the documentation showing just how stupid they have been, and the end is nowhere in sight. I prepared issues on optional 5G tourism, cyber protection and a few other places that will really open up the valves of disgust from consumers when they are confronted with the impact on their daily lives. Even outside of governmental infrastructures Huawei is set in a stage where they have billions in optional business in both information and SME environment. The large presentation based players (like 5G Evolution) were so intent on pushing the large infrastructure that they forgot that actual business comes from other area’s and when the first sale is done, they are merely left with the stage where they wait for consumers to catch up, that part is no longer a given. We see part of that (at https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/CES-2019-to-offer-glimpse-of-future-for-5G-AI-and-Huawei), where we are treated to: “About 4,500 companies are set to take part in this year’s CES, which continues to expand beyond consumer electronics as tech pervades once-mechanical industries like automotives. China now stands out in developing and applying both 5G and AI technologies. A decade ago, Japanese home electronics makers had a substantial presence in the Central Hall, an area packed with big-name companies. But as they have lost prominence, Chinese companies have emerged to fill the gap. Huawei Technologies, Alibaba Group Holding and Haier Group will all have exhibits in the Central Hall.” This matters as it is direct visibility; this is the direct stage in Las Vegas and its CES2019, people will get to see 4500 companies and some there proclaiming to equal Huawei, yet less than 5 will optionally have something to show the people on that level and I am speculating that they merely equal Huawei at best and this is one month before the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona where Huawei is set to take the centre stage and most of the attention. We cannot speculate what we will see exactly, but we will know on Sunday 24th February, and we will then optionally see the Samsung 5G router (not Mobile) and optionally several 5G mobiles, yet at that point we can use the dictionary torpedoes to sink that hype seeking content, contant that we have been exposed to from several sources. That part is not only visible, the results as shown by one source, gives us that AT&T is just not up to scrap at present.

Even as I have no real confirmation on how accurate the results are (so be aware of that), we are shown what PC Mag gave the people earlier and with the cautionary footnote (as would be appropriate): “remember that these are just test speeds ant that they will most likely improve with time. More importantly, there are still no 5G smartphones available yet, so these tests in the AT&T 5G network are just part of a process“, the fact that we see the results as in the image are bad, really really bad for a 5G environment!

From my point of view, test or not, their 5G should have knocked it out of the park leaving us with the entire 5G Evolution bit as what I personally would see as a sham, not a champ.

Nationalisation is only as good as the goods you have and in this the partnership with Huawei was essential and at present more and more technologists are stating the same thing. So those with a Huawei partnership will leave the others behind them on a larger scale in several layers and structural foundational flaws, the impact when the others cannot deliver will be fun to see, especially to mock on a daily foundation. I reckon that we have that right when we are treated to bloated presentations where we are left in the dust with the message: ‘It is great to be a consumer, in this age‘. Do not worry, we have his number and will point out that flaw soon enough several times.

We are finally seeing the impact of iterative technology versus frog leaping ahead. The iterative players will soon diminish, so from the Saudi point of view, they did bet on the right horse and that impact will give them multiple victories soon enough. You see, do you still think that the larger players will stay in a place with inferior abilities? When exactly was that ever an option for those who wanted to stay in the major leagues of technology?

 

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It started already

Even as we had seen all the plans regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their ultra-modern city of Neom, it was only last week when the geological studies were reported to have started for all the construction sites (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1390921/neom-begins-environmental-geological-surveys-construction-sites). Yet the placement of Neom goes a lot further than most realise. It will also be the gateway to the planned King Salman bin Abdulaziz Bridge, which will take 3 years, span a total distance of 10 miles and it will connect Saudi Arabia directly to the Sinai, to be more precise the bridge will connect to the Sinai a little north of Sharm-El-Sheik, opening up all kind of economic benefits for Egypt. Tourism and connectivity via Sharm-El-Sheik international airport will be boosted to well over 200%, it would also allow Saudi Arabia to delay its airport and use the bridge more effectively. It opens up a lot more when we consider that the setting now opens up directly to Kiev, Istanbul, Bratislava, Budapest, Brussels Talinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Kuwait, Bagdad, Cairo, Algiers, Sofia, Minsk, and not to forget all the places that Air Cairo lines to, which is a much larger list. When you consider that the construction is about to start on a city well over 500 billion, how much unschooled labour will there be a need for? Did anyone that math in the equation? That is before projects are delayed and hit snags. Yes, Sharm-El-Sheik will prosper and gain a massive amount of value, because in a tourist place like that these people can get the entertainment they are unlikely to see in Saudi Arabia.

There is an addition part in all this. The bridge will go via Tiran Island, I feel certain that a ramp to that place will be booming tourism as well. No matter how that fares, the first steps are now underway and when building starts, we will quickly see the overexcited steps from all kinds of companies trying to get in, because that 500 billion has to go somewhere, does it not? That is before some realise that having concrete facilities near Sharm-El-Sheik might be equally worthy of consideration, because when Neom is there, the shortages in Sharm-El-Sheik will become abundantly clear soon thereafter. When you see the issues in Sharm-El-Sheik, going back to 2015 and before, we get confronted with stories like ‘British passengers reveal Sharm airport staff are STILL taking cash to help them skip busy security queues despite bomb threat‘ (Daily Mail, November 5th 2015), as well as a few other sources, so as the economic footprint increases, the Egyptian government has to either increase their diligence, hire outside expertise or risk losing a lot of money in that entire process. Mainly because adding a few hotels to Neom will be much easier to consider than most realise and Saudi Arabia will be interested in setting a much larger tourism stage. Having a high tech city is one thing, having a truckload of consumers wanting to take some off it back home to show off is another matter on that very same coin.

In this we must also realise the size of Neom, the Neom site is large, large then anything ever seen before, it will stretch the western coastline to the proximity of Jordan, around 50 Km south of it, keeping it 75Km away from Eilat, giving Israel optional opportunities as well, I remember a Dutch guy who opened an ice factory in Eilat 40 years ago, the cubes for drinks, not the gelato. So there are options all over the place, all infrastructure needs that will not initially be available. Opportunities that some have no yet realised, all open for the investors who see the need for thousands of builders needing a watering hole, needing food and needing entertainment. This will enable places like the small city of Haql to experience a Gold Rush growth momentum.

From Haql to Hamid (where the bridge is likely to start) the distance is a mere 125Km, not the greatest road as it adds 10% to the trip, but the 392 will directly link to Saudi highway 5 getting you to Haql and that setting is merely a starter for plenty of other options. You see, when we consider that part, the bridge itself, when the final point gets a 4G tower, it would effectively cover Sharm-El-Sheik as well, I cannot say what the 5G coverage is as I do not have any reliable data on the range of such a tower. The same could be achieved from Tiran Island, covering the tourist spot and the southern part of Neom (based on 4G numbers).

No matter how it is all pushed, it has started, well, it started some time ago, but with the geological surveys a new chapter is starting, I reckon that when the first studies have been completed and accepted, the setting of concrete will not be far off. It is in this stage where we saw just a month ago (at https://neomsaudicity.net/), “Italian construction company Salini has announced plans to join NEOM project and expand into the Middle East, which includes project contracts in the Gulf, especially Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates“, and Salini is doing just fine. When we are given: “The company has also prequalified for the first phase of the $ 1 billion Avenues project, which is to be made up of two hotels, a shopping center, and an administrative building. It is part of 2,410 active projects in the Saudi Arabia since April, worth $ 190 billion“, we see that growth will be on the front bench of the board of directors of Salini Impregilo for years to come, which I expect will also come with additional growth projects in Sharm-El-Sheik. I reckon that this headway is the best news that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was seen in close to a decade, yet they are one of many, and all of them will be needing people, so as the billion dollar contracts are handed out, and when we consider the Business Insider headline: ‘a $500 billion mega-city that’s 33 times the size of New York City‘, how long will it take until these companies realise that there are deadlines and that they are understaffed? That’s not merely construction and engineering. How about all these Arkey systems, Autodesk and Autocad placements? What do you think will happen when the IT division shuts down for whatever reason and local IT support will be required? That is merely beyond the commonplace Office software, that part you can evade with cloud services and in a pinch rely on your Google account. CAD software and design software is another puppy and when the heat strikes the power falters and systems need ghosting and restoring, it will be all about local manpower and things will always go wrong at the wrong moment. So, when you score your billion dollar contract and the infrastructure takes a dive, how prepared are you? How strong are the infrastructure settings for replacing it all? So even as the Neom News site gave us in April “NEOM Announces first 6 Jobs“, we need to realise that they will need another 15,000 trained professionals in that location soon enough. I wonder where these people will go shopping for the shortage. There is every chance that some of them will rely on poaching soon thereafter, which optionally raise staff costing by 200%-500% (depending on expertise needed), at that point consider the other parts that every building, every mall and every infrastructure needs. Neom city will soon become one of the largest employer hotspots for the next decade.

 

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That did not take long

Wow, it has been a mere 22 hours since my last Blog. In there I wrote: “The additional part where we see that Pakistan is importing close to $400 million from the Netherlands each year is optionally be getting hit as well“, which comes to pass when I see the flames on Twitter between Geert Wilders (https://twitter.com/geertwilderspvv) and the Pakistani Government (https://twitter.com/pid_gov). Even the the Pakistan Defense forum(https://twitter.com/defencedotpk), they immediately went to their copy of ‘Art of War‘ and gave us “Royal Dutch Shell, Phillips, Unilever, ABN AMRO interests in the Muslim World should be nationalised, levy heavy duties on Dutch shipping passing through the Suez, Hormoez shall be closed off for Dutch ships. Their airlines should be barred from using OIC airspace. Watch it melt!“, now a forum is not a government speakeasy, so there is time, but this riled up well over 100,000 Pakistani’s in all walks of life. Yet in here a few cool heads prevailed with: “Doesn’t matter to them, as it will hurt Pakistan itself, thousands will be unemployed, lakhs of people are working directly or indirectly in Unilever Pakistan, not even 0.1%profit generated from Pakistan, of total Unilever profits, even all oic countries ban it, it will hardly damage them“, yes it will hurt Pakistan, yet will it hurt enough? When Pakistani interests are moved from Unilever to European or American alternatives, do you think that the pain is long term? No, that is unlikely to be the case, yet the long term pain to Dutch industrials will be clear when they lost the ability to meet quota’s and to meet the expectations of analysts. That pain will be very visible. So even when we see the response by Geert Wilders with: “Don’t claim victory too soon @pid_gov I am not finished with you yet. I will expose your barbarism in many other ways“, we have to wonder if he is exposing barbarism or instigating discourse through attacks on Islam? That has always been the setting here. Perhaps we need to take another look at the setting, which started as early as 2015. I implied it in my title ‘Lollies to the Right‘ (Yesterday’s blog), in this lollies is an English slang for money. Someone is funding all this. The Cartoon competition shows another side, from the $12,500 in Garland Texas, and the amount (unknown) for the Dutch event. This is not from the pocket of Geert Wilders, someone is funding these fumes hoping that a war will erupt and we need to find out who is behind the screens on the far right, it is more important then you know. It is not merely about the hatred, the setting of economic strike backs was always going to be a clear setting. And I was right all along. We now see in the Daily Pakistan: ‘Dutch govt seeks improved bilateral ties with Pakistan after blasphemous contest saga‘, where we see: “Dutch envoy to Pakistan, Ardi Stoios-Braken announced on Twitter that the Embassy team will work with fresh energy and focus on promoting the bilateral relationship with Pakistan and mutual understanding“, yes I saw that coming a mile away and the question becomes, how much will that cost the Dutch government? By the way, in that same period of contemplating my correctness, I also designed two new (optional) Google devices, so it required close to no brainpower, so I had three other things running in the back of my head. Here too we are fed the lies by Geert Wilders. The lie “to avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the sacrilegious cartoon contest go ahead“, yet that was not really the case was it. The game was not set on the competition, but on the backdrop and I wonder what happened on May 1st 2018. When we were shown: ‘Far right leaders gathered in the southern French city of Nice‘, we were not in the picture on the rest. There was another player there, ready to use Geert Wilders as the tool he is. This was merely foreplay, binding the hands of certain politicians and setting the stage for others. The Independent gave on that very same day: ““The European Union today has catastrophic consequences for our countries, and yet another Europe is possible, the Union of European Nations,” she told a rally as she met with the leaders. “Europe is a good idea and the European Union is killing it.” The next European Parliament elections are scheduled for the 23 to 26 of May 2019 – after Britain is set to leave the European Union.“, that is the part that matters more, when things go out of balance, other players can come in and have some fun making money fast, that is the one part were the right seems to be blind. With Italy much more firmer in the right, with the AfD (Alternativ fur Deutchland) we see that they are still growing, even more so as Angela Merkel is now in a much lower ratings than ever before, so even as that does not indicate that AfD will push to better staging and more seats, that is not a given. Yet, in this I was proven wrong in my assumptions (based on data) on how Matteo Salvini was not really a risk and he got a much larger slice of Italian politics then we imagined and with Germany we cannot afford that mistake again. In all this it is more and more clear that the UK got out in time (a little too late though), with the European settings we all get to look at, there is a clear path that half of Europe will be in an anti-Muslim stage soon enough and not being part of that war is the only good we can hope for.

Yet the only links that I get back to in the end (thanks to some data that I found in Austria) from sources like the Wiener Zeitung and the Freedom Party of Austria and Heinz-Christian Strache is Steve Bannon of all people. Right on the same day that Cambridge Analytica became a non-entity, we see that Steve Bannon was always part of this, the question becomes: Was that why the data was needed? Was this why there was a nice dinner in Nice? OK, I admit that this is slightly too ‘conspiracy theoretic’, but the elements are there; we forgot that 87 million Facebook users are not merely there to use for the far right, they can also be used against the left and more important, once properly mined and grouped, other elements can also be addressed. We were treated to Channel 4 and their ‘Cambridge Analytica CEO filmed boasting of using entrapment, bribes and honey-traps to influence election‘, but the much larger cake is not merely the elections, it is the fact that creating discourse in Saudi Arabia as it is ready to start a trillion dollar investment setting (well over half for the creation of Neom, city of the future), we see a lot more opportunity for those players. Even in history we saw the UK push Egypt in another direction as it feared the larger hold and more importantly the hold that the UK would lose, we see a variation now by the escalations of Islam and anti-Islam and in all this Geert Wilders is the most visible tool. In this Steve Bannon played the game very well. Even as we saw him being close to Islamophobic in Breitbart and his film script, on which the Washington Post reported with “The script for the film, Destroying the Great Satan, which was never produced, opens with a fantasy scene of the US Capitol adorned with a star-and-crescent flag and broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer, according to a script obtained by the Washington Post. The film imagines a “fundamental clash of civilizations” between the west and “supremacist” Islam“. So, this is clearly not in my imagination and there is heaps of data behind it all, but there is no clear link, all the direct links are hidden. I am not speaking about ‘advertised’ open admiration between the players. No, there is a larger part in this and it is between middle men so there is nothing to prove. That evidence is not out there and it unlikely never ever will be. Steve Bannon is slightly too intelligent for that, because over time it comes knocking at his door, so he got it truly insulated against that, using tools like ‘Wilders’ as he sees fit. Marine Le Pen is in her heart too nationalistic (French) so she is an ally, but just up to a level and the same can be said for Matteo Salvini, all set in a stage of anti-Islam. Now that we see the Dutch impact others will be more cautious. When the Guardian informed us of “Steve Bannon has announced plans to establish a foundation in Europe that he hopes will fuel the spread of right-wing populism” we also got the push from Politico with “his potential European partners are ambivalent, saying they want to keep the controversial American at arm’s length even as they seek to tap his expertise on how to disrupt politics on the Continent“. I do not think it is false, but I do believe that there is orchestrated caution here. Yet as we also see: “Bannon’s connections to Europe’s leading populists, many sound unsure about letting an outsider play a central role in next year’s election, let alone one with his reputation. Some pointed out they are already working on their own pan-European alliances“, as well as “Rivière, his party’s international spokesman, said he has talked to Bannon about how he could “provide us with new ideas or share his experience.” Rivière said The Movement would be “a good non-partisan tool box” to achieve that. Bannon, who formerly ran Breitbart media, helped lead the successful Trump campaign in 2016 and went on to serve in the White House for seven months“. Here we see levels of facilitation and that facilitation will only go as far as Steve Bannon gets an industrial upper hand and it is not clear to me if these political players will be aware. What is very clear is that both Israel and Saudi Arabia need to become a lot more cautious when it comes to America. In the end, the Iranian escalations, the Syrian, Russian and Turkish setting in all this sounds nice and it sounds nice that America is on THEIR side, but only for as long as the economic fallout blows the wind to America, in the end those nations stand alone, in the end, America has a protection barrier called the Atlantic Ocean and they can retreat to ‘home ground’ , that is the play any bankrupt nation makes, lets others do the work for them, they only come when the cream is there to be scooped. When that does not happen, they walk away and we need to find a way to stop anti-Islam movements now, because they endanger the State of Israel in a similar way and even if these far right settings do not care, we should because when escalated it is a mess that no one can visit for at least a generation.

I think (as I stated before) that the seriousness of Saudi Arabia and the push for innovation has scared America and Europe. You see, the last time anyone was this driven we ended up with Google and now they are 4th in size on a global scale, that is until 2023 when they will jump back to number 2. Both IBM and Microsoft have issues and they will polarise clearly in view in 2019, at that point we will see a new shift and Google will bypass them pretty much overnight with all the 5G issues brought to the well willing hands of close to 2 billion people within a year, it is that same fear that made certain governments strike out against Huawei technologies. And that has nothing to do with security issues. When you realise that, we also see why the entire Wilders cartoon issue is a larger one. So, when you consider that the richest companies’ revenue wise in 2017 had Royal Dutch Shell on 7th with 240 billion in revenue. Now consider that the entire Wilders situation is still playing in Pakistan, with escalations still opening up in the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia. So when you consider that Shell could get hit and those hits are translated to additional opportunities for Exxon, which country benefits that? In the end Exxon and Shell might up trading revenue places on that same list in 2019.

There are enough markers in all this, but no direct evidence, that is likely to be seen after it is too late. At that point what will Europe do? Wake up, or just let it slide? I will let you decide, just be aware that the impact will be the economy, it usually is the first one to take a body blow in such events.

 

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Liberalism overboard

We can agree that there is in many places a setting of ‘freedom of speech’. For the most, I have always supported that, and even though I know that there is an overwhelming amount of exercise in the ‘art of free speech’ for the mere setting to do harm and to inflict insult onto others, the largest portion of people are about merely voicing personal opinion, or in some cases to evangelize their version, or better stated their interpretation of events through free speech. I do still believe that freedom of speech is a much larger advocate of good then evil. The question becomes, what happens when the intent is a malicious one?

In America one of the most famous cases of free speech is still Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988). From the New York Times at the time we get “the Court held that the First Amendment gives speakers immunity from sanction with respect to their speech concerning public figures unless their speech is both false and made with “actual malice”, i.e., with knowledge of its falsehood or with reckless disregard for the truth of the statement“, that is the important setting in this case, and even if this is regarding a setting in different nations, it gives a clear view on where most of us are, or should be. So when I was confronted with “a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest organized by anti-Islam PVV leader Geert Wilders“, a person who has a visible anti-Islam view, when we are clear and in the know that images of the prophet Mohammed are a massive taboo in the entire global Islamic population, why can we allow a political party leader to set a stage of mental duress to Islamic people of all ages? The fact that this competition is to be held in a closed part of Parliament closed or not reflects even worse on the Dutch government.

If I was an emotional person (which I am not), I would plead with the United Muslims of Australia (UMA) as well as a few Muslim governments on the idea of a fantasy story, the topic would be ‘How to assassinate a politician‘, it is partially important that the people realise that I am a Catholic, not a Muslim. It would be open to all Muslims from 14 to 20 years old and the story needs to surpass 8000 words. We will ask a prominent member of Muslim society to consider being the judge of all those stories.

I am as rich as a church mouse (read: therefor the opposite of rich), so I cannot make a price available, so we need sponsor willing to host the artistic exercise and the winner should get a decent award and we will send all the submissions in PDF form to the Dutch Parliament as a statement of objection on what PVV Leader Geert Wilders had set in motion.

You see, the steps are important for the mere setting that there must be a dialogue with people that is not set on hatred and in equal measure, people fuelling the fires of hatred should no longer be allowed in politics. The fact that we were offered: “In 2015 Wilders attended a Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas. He left just before jihadists tried to commit an attack“, it was a clear message (apart from the one in France). So the Dutch politician was in attendance at this event on Dutch Memorial Day (regarding WW2), when we are treated to: “Two gunmen who opened fire outside a competition for the best cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad near Dallas in the United States on Sunday. PVV leader Geert Wilders was the keynote speaker at the event. The police shot and killed both gunmen. A security officer was injured“. It was at an American event, in America that called for, and knowingly invited for an action of extremism. A hate group hiding behind “He told the audience that most terrorists are Muslims and “the less Islam the better”. “We are here in defiance of Islam to stand for our rights and freedom of speech,” he said during his speech. “That is our duty.”“. the two sides is that we do not deny a freedom of speech, yet when you use that freedom to knowingly and intentionally inflict harm to others, how does that go over with you?

In this it is the current nightmare for Stef Blok who is currently heading the foreign office. It is a nightmare, because not only is it a setting where a politician is intentionally insulting a religion, not only is this a set stage, it is one that is ALLOWED to be done in Dutch Parliament.

No matter how good most of the Dutch are, no matter how dedicated they are to excellence. when we consider the business model (at https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/dutch-model-attracts-uae-firms), when we see that the setting of “Twenty-seven of the 60 projects come from the UAE“, when the attached “Currently, we have 60 investment projects from the Mena region together investing more than 1.1 billion euros and creating more than 2,000 jobs“, when that falls away due to the insult of their national religion, when the people in the UAE are made aware of the insults that PVV Leader Geert Wilders is allowed to get away with. How long until the funds stop and the jobs go to the UK, France and perhaps Australia? When we get Jeroen C.M. Nijland, commissioner of the Ministry of Economic Affairs at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), now having to state that economic times have taken a step back due to ‘abused freedom of expression’ in a stage of intentional malignant acts against Muslim nations on a global scale. When these 2,000 jobs fall away? What will be the excuse Dutch officials will announce in line to the ‘Due to uncontrollable elements, the Dutch deficit will rise from 1.1% to an expected 1.9%‘, or perhaps “The economy will grow by 3.3% in 2017 and a projected 1.3% in 2018“. When one party represents close to 50% of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, getting the scope of alienating economic partners correct tends to become extremely important.

In that regard, when the President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan learns that Dutch parliament was allowed to be used for such an event. How do you expect that he is likely to react? When Saudi Arabia learns of this, a nation now ready to give reign to around one trillion dollars in projects for the next 7 years (the new Neom city included as well as other Saudi projects), in that light, just how stupid was the setting of facilitating to Geert Wilders in all this?

A setting where the technological growth, especially in 5G projects will be the largest in the history of the world (for now that is), when these projects could feed corporations for close to two generations, getting ‘political correctness’ a little better under control is close to everything. So, I do remain a ‘champion’ of free speech, but we should learn to see accountability equally important, especially when there is as what I personally see as clear intentional malice in play. In that regard it was never about ‘freedom of expression‘, was it? So, if we accept fair play, then the Dutch economy should rely on business partners that are not fundamentally Muslim and perhaps they can get the same amount of projects and revenue in Asia, or Africa, or perhaps America. Was America not that nation that has such a booming economy? You see, plenty of other nations to get the 27+ replacement contracts.

I think that this should be the impact of Liberalism when it goes overboard. When we dig deeper and we consider the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), we see “findings confirm that conservatives, liberals, the religious and the nonreligious are each prejudiced against those with opposing views. But surprisingly, each group is about equally prejudiced. While liberals might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are no more tolerant of people unlike them than their conservative counterparts are” (source: Politico.com). Mark Brandt, Geoffrey Wetherell and Christine Reyna created the paper ‘Discrimination Across the Ideological Divide. The Role of Value Violations and Abstract Values in Discrimination by Liberals and Conservatives‘ (2013). Here we see “conservatives were more discriminatory than liberals toward liberal groups, and liberals were more discriminatory than conservatives toward conservative groups. Conservatives’ discrimination was driven by their higher traditionalism and by liberal groups’ apparent violation of their values. Liberals’ discrimination was driven by their lower traditionalism and by conservative groups’ apparent violation of their values. Complicating matters, conservatives highly valued self-reliance, which weakened their discrimination toward liberal groups, perhaps because self-reliance is associated with the freedom to believe or do what one wants. And liberals highly valued universalism, which weakened their discrimination toward conservative groups, likely because universalism espouses acceptance of all“. Yet the foundation is not the setting of prejudice that we all will have to some degree, what happens when this prejudice is coated in intentional malice? What happens when malice is the cornerstone of the politician and the spokesperson on an agenda that is drenched in self-interest and in that knowingly sets the stage of ‘absence for consideration‘ towards the economic setting that is part of a governing parliament, a parliament that Geert Wilders is a part of? When we see that the economic partners walk away, is that prejudice or the cost of doing business? When we accept certain cultural business partners, should we accept that a level of accountability is to be expected when the ‘freedom of expression‘ is set towards the stage of intentional malice?

You see, for me the exposure would be merely business. I can, to some degree take the slack of these 27 projects and claim my 3.75% of 1.1 billion euros and assist in getting the UAE the quality replacements that do take a level of political correctness in their stride, especially the political players that are unwilling to play fast and loose with a billion euro’s by not allowing parliament to be used for intentional malicious anti-Islam events.

So am I suddenly anti-Dutch? Am I suddenly anti freedom of speech, or anti freedom of expression? No, I am not. I merely state that ‘intent of malice’ should not be allowed, especially not in any house of parliament. I do also accept that the Charlie Hebdo case is a sensitive one, yet in that this was acting within France, in a total satirical case and it was not merely Islam. The setting was also anti Catholic and anti-Judean. One could argue that the magazine treated all religion, as well as politics and culture to a larger degree with contempt. I do not accept that the act against the Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015 was an acceptable one. For the most also for the driving reason that they were not singling the Muslim religion out as a target for their satire. In their setting it was about freedom of expression against all they viewed, not just one religion. There was a debatable absence of malice here.

This does get me on a slippery slope and I admit to that. You see, when we set that stage, is there intent or absence of malice? Is satire an intention of malice? No, when it is done over the top and in the staged setting of a cartoon, I remain in line of the Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell stage. It is cartoon, over the top expression of ridicule, like the two Hebdo images. And as a Catholic, I can look onto that setting and giggle. We never had the absence of icons and images towards religious Christian figures. It changes the field completely.

When liberalism allows for, and to the larger stage supports intent of malice, that is when we need to sit down and wonder just how far over the top have we gone? It is a discussion that the Dutch need to have in the very near future. That pressure will grow when it is no longer merely Pakistan formally complaining, but when Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Turkey and Indonesia follow suit and stand with Pakistan. At that point it might be too late for the Netherlands to merely do this away with some political statement. At that point it will require much larger efforts by the ambassadors in those nations to go into damage control mode and fix the mess that Geert Wilders was allowed to make in the first place.

It suck to be Mr Laurens Westhoff, Mr Joost Reintjes, Dr Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Mrs Laetitia van Asch and Rob Swartbol in the coming weeks. I have no doubt that in these places there will be a lot of outrage on the matter (and a few other places too).

The fact that this started in June and was not the front page setting in many papers was to some degree an issue, the fact that Pakistan made a formal complaint about the setting and the fact that the newspapers are ignoring the issue over the past 48 hours is also an issue, especially when we are confronted with the setting “Mazari said the actions of Wilders, who heads the Dutch Freedom Party, was a clear violation of human rights of Muslims in Europe as well as a violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom“, so we see Human rights issues in almost every paper, yet when it is Pakistan minister Shireen Mazari, the papers set it aside? Will it all become an outspoken stage on the Pakistan blasphemy law that still attracts the death penalty? In this stage and those settings, we need to accept that there is a much larger hypocrisy in play, so when I limelight the issue, partially so that I can fly in with an option towards 3.75% of One billion Euro, I feel perfectly justified in my actions, at least I was always willing to state out the settings, even when I was wrong (the Jeremy Corbyn stage of a funeral in Tunesia), I had no issue about correcting the stage as to what it truly was (to the degree that I was able to validate).

 

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