Tag Archives: NOS

Into the fire we walk ourselves

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

Should I care?

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

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

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

So into the fire we might go!

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Think again!

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

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

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

All questions, all speculation!

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

Should they?

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

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

Time will tell!

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

 

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Viewpoint to a point of view

It all started at 04:00, Google started their announcement of Google Home (which blew me away and that is a rare thing) and Google Pixel, which instantly proved my telecom issues of mobile phones and memory. Shortly after that George Monbiot gave me ‘Lies, fearmongering and fables: that’s our democracy‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/04/democracy-people-power-governments-policy). It is an excellent piece, because it made me ask questions of myself and how I saw things. I have never proclaimed to have all the answers, I give insights and I oppose other views without personally attacking them. You see, many disagreements are not always on the facts, but on the points of view, usually that view is laced in a perceived (non-)factual interpretation of what we observe. So let’s take a look.

You see, when we get to “Democracy for Realists, published earlier this year by the social science professors Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, argues that the “folk theory of democracy” – the idea that citizens make coherent and intelligible policy decisions, on which governments then act – bears no relationship to how it really works. Or could ever work“, now, we can accept that, or we can consider another option without stating that this view was wrong, because it isn’t.

You see, this is what happens ‘citizens make coherent and intelligible policy decisions‘, which leads to ‘on which governments then act‘, yet the reality is that ‘coherent and intelligible policy decisions‘ tend to be made through the information given to us by the news and by the newspapers, yet too often they do not completely inform, they voice too often the point of view that a government (or benefiting party) wants us to see (or obscure). For example, the previous government of the Netherlands with their approach to ‘managed bad news‘. I wrote about those events in 2013 and 2014. Why what this happening? Well, I was clearly aware of a non-reality of their overly positive news on how commerce would improve, pretty much all the Dutch shared that sentiment and a real revelation would have meant harsh cutbacks, yet that government did not want to do that, so the Dutch were informed of overly positive news, and after the spending date, the NOS started to ‘release’ (read: voice) news regarding setbacks. Not all at once, but step by step by step. So what we perceive to be ‘intelligible’ is nothing more but a reaction to what should be regarded as ‘misinformation’. My defence here was that I foresaw the not so good economy. I (with no economic education) was off by 0.4% (too negative) and the economic experts on high incomes were off by 0.9% (too positive). I’ll let you decide this one!

The next quote is even better “In reality, the research summarised by Achen and Bartels suggests, most people possess almost no useful information about policies and their implications, have little desire to improve their state of knowledge, and have a deep aversion to political disagreement“, now, there is one part that is an absolute given in most occasions ‘most people possess almost no useful information about the implications of policies‘, that is one truth that is undeniable, even the more alert and aware people tend to miss things there, because, unless you are not part of it, you tend not to be fully in the know. It is almost a non-issue, yet the other part of policies is because getting a politician to sit down and explain it all is usually and equally a non-option, the more relevant info the politician has, the less likely it will be to find him available to explain it all. The best example would be the global collection of ministers of defence. Now, I am not talking about the hush hush stuff, because it would be a low and simple blow to get towards the classified stuff. No, I am talking about the large open things. So let’s state a NATO member, its Minister of Defence and Raytheon agreements. Some news now only 14 hours old (at http://www.army-technology.com/news/newsraytheon-to-upgrade-antpy-2-radars-with-gan-technology-5021950), seems to give NATO (initially just the US) with an advantage. So the quote from Dave Gulla who said: “GaN components have significant, proven advantages when compared to the previous generation GaAs technology“. Yet, when we take a look Patent US 6586778 B2, (at https://www.google.ch/patents/US6586778), we see “A gallium nitride layer is pendeoepitaxially grown on weak posts on a substrate that are configured to crack due to a thermal expansion coefficient mismatch between the substrate and the gallium nitride layer on the weak posts. Thus, upon cooling, at least some of the weak posts crack, to thereby relieve stress in the gallium nitride semiconductor layer. Accordingly, low defect density gallium nitride semiconductor layers may be produced. Moreover, the weak posts can allow relatively easy separation of the substrate from the gallium nitride semiconductor layer to provide a freestanding gallium nitride layer“. At this point I would initially state ‘Oops!’, yet that is not the issue, because there is a patent, means that there is a solution. The issue is not the fact that there is a solution, but that the solution is patented, in addition, we see an august article (at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160801093236.htm), which gives us the summary of “From 2020 the 5G mobile standard is aiming to transmit data rapidly and energy-efficiently. For that purpose researchers are developing new power amplifiers based on the semiconductor gallium nitride“. So now we have an old fashioned horse race, because did that Minister of Defence realise that Raytheon is relying on parts that will drive the costs through 5G needs sky high? So, we are a looking at something that has an optional growth opportunity of close to 50,000% (blatantly extremely speculative by yours truly), so how will that drive the prices? In the UK who will get the sharp component deal, those servicing 68 million mobile users, or that one ministry of Defence? #JustAsking

So here you see information in action. Moreover, from my point of view, it is speculative as well. My speculation is that the Gallium Nitride (GaN) will grow so fast in demand that it will drive up prices fast and near exponentially (and with that the margins they had). Is that speculation so far out of bounds? You only need to remember the 4G rush to know that I am right. And if the patent has any real impact until 2023 as conditional initial end date, then North Carolina State University could end up with both the Angels share and the Devils Cut, which is a nice deal to begin with (for them that is), yet for the rest, it will drive prices up fast and by a large amount. Was this considered and is my view right or wrong?

So this technology war is not over, not by a long shot.

Now this is just one instance, for one nation. And when we ignore classified materials, how many issues play in this alone and where have we not looked? Now, we cannot expect that all issues were dealt with in the initial approach, but when we see that these issues are now undertaken and there is no direct solution, how much higher will the cost be in the end? So, without these facts, would the other NATO members dump the Raytheon upgrade? Is the upgrade mandatory, or even perhaps, my point of view is wrong. The last one is still valid, yet in my defence, what happens when there is suddenly a shortage of something? Show me one instance when the price of the goods were not spiralling upwards. I remember the chip war and the memory bank war. In those days, those critters were on a day price, it was like buying a lobster for Pete’s sake (not the other Pete, because he is a Vegan).

Yet part of my views are seen in “Direct democracy – referendums and citizens’ initiatives – seems to produce even worse results. In the US initiatives are repeatedly used by multimillion-dollar lobby groups to achieve results that state legislatures won’t grant them. They tend to replace taxes with user fees, stymie the redistribution of wealth and degrade public services. Whether representative or direct, democracy comes to be owned by the elites“, Geoff deals with lobby groups, which is what I raised too, yet in my view, I looked at the (miss)-presented side and in the past, just a few days ago, I raised the incapability of tax reforms, all over Europe for that matter. It seems that taxation is a pox on both houses, this whilst both sides know it is essential, yet from 2013 onwards the US has done so much to utterly stop the essential overhaul from happening.

So, I loved the article because it showed for the most my point of view (as I have stated it for many months), from another viewpoint, which is always nice. An article that should wake us up not to the lack of Democracy, but to the realisation how democracy is shaping us all to no longer seek it and spearhead the presented needs straight into the direction that helps big business the most (for now). So did we elect the wrong politicians, or were we only given the media that made us choose the individual currently in charge? Here I now look towards the dozens of morning shows that ‘do’ the news on a local level, but sugar coat a massive part outside of those few minutes on the whole and half hour to push opinions and interpretation of events, ‘guiding’ us towards a choice we could have avoided. As media changed so fast, whilst we did not keep up, we saw our fenced pasture change into a maze of fences and no way to see where the exit is.

This democratic world reminds me of the wisdom seen on a card: “and God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the world…then he made the Earth round…and he laughed and laughed“, which reverberates here too, ‘as democracy reached all corners of the earth’, you get the idea!

 

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What the Frack?

I have stated in several occasions that I am at heart a Conservative, I believe in the conservative plan and for the most, the damage Labour has achieved, on a near global base gives me the certainty that I will nearly never see eye to eye with labour. Yet, it is that nearly part that is today the issue. You see, the one part I do agree with is their opposition to Fracking.

I myself grew up in the Netherlands. My grandfather is British and served in WWI , my mother was British, so I am unofficial (for now) British too. I have seen the damage that Fracking has done in the Netherlands. The historic buildings that are now damaged, some beyond repair is just unacceptable. The North of the Netherlands (Groningen) has a unique historical architecture, which is now partially diminished and that is not a good thing. Consider the people who are losing their houses so that a little more gas can be obtained, and the expense that it had to go through to get it. In addition, the Dutch gas company NAM that was the instigator of this approach lost its case last year, which had as a consequence that loss of property value has to be repaired, with over 2000 claims in 2012 alone, the NAM is currently looking at claims totalling into the billions of Euro’s. The good part in this for British Barry Gardiner is that Common Law torts is actually stronger in protecting the home owners’ rights than Dutch law was, so the moment anything goes wrong (it will), the parties that will start fracking will end up paying a lot, possible even a lot more than the value of the gas obtained, so that story could go south fast and a lot faster than any administration would like it to be.

In addition, the UK has one additional issue the Dutch do not have. Fracking in the UK, because of the rocky foundation requires a higher pressure than the Dutch required, giving the UK a slightly larger issue with earthquakes and in addition to that, if the chemicals enter the groundwater in any way (a very likely issue), the damage to people’s health because of water pollution could have the realistic danger to hit water sources that people and farms rely on (being an island surrounded by salt water adds to that danger). That last is not a given, but if it happens, the UK would be in a perilous situation. You see, the Dutch have a collection of waterways and water sources that outdo the UK by a lot, considering they have larger (drink) water provision, with the Dutch at 17% of the size and only 25% of the population, if anything had gone seriously wrong (water wise), the Dutch have alternatives, the same is not clear and should be considered as doubtful for the UK.

In the Netherlands there is an issue, however, we need to clearly look at both sides. The anti-Fracking sites are giving the readers the ‘burning water‘ example, whilst the pro fracking people claimed that this was swamp gas that had found its way into the ground waters. There are issues here, but it was not a given that fracking caused this instance. Still, the county of Groningen has access to 45 billion litres of water, and that is one of the least populated areas of the Netherlands. The Technical University of Delft had this paper that was done for the Drinkwater cooperation in the Netherlands (at http://www.vewin.nl/SiteCollectionDocuments/Dossier_schaliegas/Schaliegas_gevolgen_voor_ons_grondwater.pdf), their site vewin.nl has an English version of the site.

An important conclusion is: “De overkoepelende conclusie van voorliggend rapport is, dat schaliegaswinning in principe veilig zal zijn voor het drinkwater, onder de voorwaarde dat maatregelen worden genomen die de zorgpunten van de sector adequaat wegnemen. Dat vergt in elk geval openheid over de gebruikte chemicaliën en monitoring die start voorafgaand aan het boren en wordt voortgezet tot en met de nazorgperiode (30 jaar na het voorgoed sluiten de putten)“.

The paraphrased translation “The conclusion of this report is that Fracking is in principle not hazardous for drinking water, with the clear condition that safeguards are set in place, with openness of disclosure of all chemicals used and monitoring starting before fracking commences with continued measuring of the chemicals for a period of 30 years after fracking stops“. There is a little paraphrasing here. Yet the foundation that monitoring for 30+ years will have a massive impact on the profitability, with the added situation that the Dutch, due to the soil, required an expected lower pressure. Also, the risk was still there, yet lower due to what I regard of vast water supplies. Elements the UK does not have to the extent the Dutch have, meaning that the risk here will be higher. This is one of the principle reasons I am on the side of Barry Gardiner. The interesting thing is that he is a lot more fearful than the Scottish are, which is also weird because should any water get a case of fracking chemical pollution, one of the main ingredients for making whiskey is gone, ending that market for a very long time. So, buying a 100 cases of Scotch, the day fracking is approved in Scotland, might be a very worthwhile investment indeed.

You see, my aversion to all this is that it requires openly revealing all chemicals used and monitoring. I have never ever seen any profit driven company adhere to these terms. Like the Dutch report shows the Halliburton side of it all and how spiffy their technology is. It is in the end an academic presentation to a set of requirements most large companies will ‘accidently’ ignore and when it goes to court a ‘fine’ will be advocated for that allows them still a degree of profits, whilst the elements in nearly all reports require a level of responsibility and adherence to issues that make profit a near non-issue as there will be no profit. This beckons me to think why any consideration to allow fracking is even considered to begin with. By the way, should any drilling organisation decide to go bankrupt, the aftercare of 30 years would not be possible, meaning that suddenly the government would be required to monitor all this, an expense no one is waiting for.

For the most, there are issues that cannot be guaranteed how deep it will impact the UK, yet the dangers, the risks and the long term consequences, whilst the profit is not even close to a guarantee makes me wonder why the UK Government on both sides of the isle have abstained to unite in banning Fracking on the grounds of risks and uncontrollable costs after the fact. That alone, whilst a trillion in debt should be enough to keep people away from Fracking. Only today, the Dutch NOS now reports that the Dutch NAM is going to appeal last year’s decision regarding the loss of value of houses. A Statement of Appeal, in Dutch named ‘memorie van grieven‘ has been submitted, at 16.5 Kilograms, or in a slightly more metrical definition: 3400 pages. The quote “The Company calls the verdict outdated and vague, saying it creates a huge administrative burden for the NAM“, which I find hilarious. There has been too much damage and clearly proven damage because of fracking, now that the NAM is finding the loss of profit too large, it drowns the court with a document that will take months to read. So as this case will now see another legal iteration that will not start until 2017, the people at NAM will get out fast with as much cash as possible and leave others to clean up the mess (speculation on my side). This is in my view another reason to support the view Barry Gardiner has. If not for the mere logic, then for the common legal sense that any mishap will bring with it.

The last side is the US, when we look at sourcewatch.org, we see the claim that go a lot further. There have been cases where the monitoring labs falsified data and ended up paying $150K fine with 5 years of probation, which was in East Syracuse New York. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has shown and found water safety issues with residential drinking water wells in Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming. Cases of elevated levels of Arsenic and Selenium (not the healthiest in even minute traces), places where there were elevated amounts of Ammonium and Iodide, which would be devastating to environment and wildlife and in Wyoming they found Benzene at 50 times higher than safe levels advice. What was even more upsetting is that a June 2015 report (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-04/u-s-epa-study-finds-only-limited-water-pollution-from-fracking) is reported by the news as ‘EPA Study of Fracking Finds ‘No Widespread, Systemic’ Pollution‘, there is no way to tell who to believe, but the reports stated in the past as well as some of the actions give way to the notion that big business has a hold over the EPA, not the other way around. What is also interesting in the Bloomberg article is ““Now the Obama administration, Congress, and state governments must act on that information to protect our drinking water, and stop perpetuating the oil and gas industry’s myth that fracking is safe,” said Lauren Pagel, Earthwork’s policy director, in an e-mail“, I myself would have gone a step further and make the children of the people behind the EPA report drink the water from these wells and watch how scared those parents would suddenly become. I wonder if we see any proclamations that their children are allergic to water. The crisis in Flint Michigan is another piece of evidence. Important that this is NOT about fracking, but about the mishandling of evidence regarding the quality of water. Water with heavy metals (lead) tends to be really unhealthy and the fact that one member of the EPA was involved only shows that big business finds a way to take the lead, or is that lead to profit.

As I personally see it. Fracking is nothing more than fake money. Some call it printing your own cash, which is one side, but consider that you are printing £100 that note would cost you £30 in paper and £85 in ink? How profitable is printing money then? Especially as the increased price of ink is one that both government ignore and corporations forget to mention. And the image of Balmoral Castle? Well, to cover the losses, that ‘piece de resistance’ could actually got on the market to cover the losses and that is not too far-fetched I reckon. So far there is not one place that can clearly show the benefit without the out of control risks, making this solution a non-option before it even starts.

Fracking? Get the Frack out of here!

 

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the Other Currency

Sometimes you have to halt a moment. Take a step back and breathe. It is an essential act that I myself have forgotten to take heed on. That part became partially clear in the article the Guardian had yesterday in the TV News section. The title “Paul Mason warns political journalists: ‘You have no real idea what is going on’” is only half of it (at http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/apr/08/paul-mason-political-international-journalism-festival-channel-4-news). You see this is linked to several pieces I wrote regarding the (what I believe) to be less than intelligent acts by Alexis Tsipras. So apart from me thinking I was right (read: correct), that piece is an equal mirror for me to look at myself at times, which I am very willing to do.

Linked to these events, not to the articles is a secondary issue I reported on. The date was January 7th 2015. The article is called ‘As we judge morality‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/07/as-we-judge-morality/). In this article I looked at the accusations made by something that walks around with a dripping snatch. Yes! I am that rude! You see, you do not get to make the false allegation ‘a former masseuse employed by Epstein, that she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York over 10 years ago, as well as the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz‘, you do not get to accuse these people falsely and not get branded for life! This part links into the previous part and the follow up from the not so light allegation I made in the article. I stated: “It is somewhat sickening to see that the press might be the fuel for falsely alleged trials and claims“, even though (much too late) as we see today in the Boston Globe “Two plaintiffs’ lawyers admitted Friday that they made “a mistake” when they accused famed attorney Alan Dershowitz of having sex with their client when she was a minor” a year later. I am uncertain why Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz would show such grace against the mindless stupidity of his peers by dropping (read: settle) against Lawyers Paul G. Cassell and Bradley J. Edwards. It is my personal believe that the District Attorney has a mandatory function to keep the quality of law above reproach and high in standards (we do know the standards board is for that). I believe that Attorney General Pam Bondi (our famous Sydney Bondi beach was not named after her), still has a clear duty to look into the matter of the claims made against Alan Dershowitz. Cassell and Edwards wasted the courts time, they gave real damage to the integrity of Alan Dershowitz, as such in light of all I reported then, there is still a case of consideration against the two lawyers. As I personally see it, they tried to strongarm a situation, which had basically nowhere to go but backfire. As such there needs to be a price against the false claimant and against those proceeding on those false claims without due diligence.

I do not think that it changes anything against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the slimy little weasel (as I would see him) who got off way too light. Yet, the false statements making him violent now also wrongly diminishes his guilt in all this and it smeared the Duke of York in addition, who is not mentioned in the Boston Globe article. Those false claims had a likely impact on the charity work he has done for decades, so this ‘tactical’ legal act should come with a massive price tag, not only because it took serious resources from the FBI to clearly show that there was contradictory evidence as brought by former director Louis Freeh of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This now reflects to the article that got this all started, namely the press. You see, there is a quote in that article “And I think we need to understand that we [journalists] generally know very little about what is really happening”, which might be a grand gesture by Paul Mason, but I think it is the revelation that he was aware of. We do not know everything and most often we don’t even know a lot, which is something I have always known. The second quote he makes is “If you are one of those poor people who have to report Brussels, you’ll know how difficult it is, even for the guys with the press passes, to get the story. They just get handed effectively a series of semi-leaks and spun information”, which is now at the axial of that what matters. The press has with some regularity not been the informer, they were merely the ignorant patsies ‘revealing’ things spin doctors wanted to get revealed. Now, mind you, the revealed info was often true, it was however a truth misstated in proportion and in wrongful secondary considerations. Which is what I have stated on numerous occasions. Especially when we consider Edward Snowden as well as the Panama Papers. They were, as I see them both hostile takeovers, one in the intelligence industry and one in the financial industry. We will forever debate and speculate on the acts of Edward Snowden. I see him as a traitor, plain and simple. That evidence is clearly seen as his first port of call was Hong Kong. That choice limited him and changed the game for him. I reckon as I speculated before that China saw him for what he was: ‘A joke with delusions of grandeur’. He was not evil, just embossed by the option for greed and ‘sainthood’, just the small detail that treason and sainthood tend to be mutually exclusive when it is done to merely enrich one’s self. This is the one element that gives Julian Assange the benefit of the doubt (and because he technically never committed treason).

When we get back to Edward, we see that he had access to some extent and I reckon he got to see a few documents. Documents involving James Fisher, Mike McConnell and Gary Labovich. I think that they had started a path at that point, merely in the planning stage and if that path worked out a small group at Booz Allan would become rich beyond believe and Edward was missing out. I think he had the opportunity to move forward and he took a chance, the wrong one I might add. You see, there was always an issue with all the data and I still believe that some of the players have been miscommunicating the value of all that data and those ‘documents’ I believe that the initial news around that time (at http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/former-government-officials-cybersecurity-boom_n_958790.html) in September 2011 and in the Washington Technology (at https://washingtontechnology.com/Articles/2011/06/06/Booz-Allen-Top-100-government-contractors.aspx?Page=2) in June 2011. Perhaps the path was not clear at that point, but the idea had taken shape. Last year we saw ‘Booz Allen builds on Vision 2020 strategy with SPARC acquisition‘ (at https://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2015/11/02/booz-allen-sparc-deal.aspx) and last month we had the conclusion ‘Booz Allen Hamilton hired to support 5 billion CSTAT contract‘ (at http://www.consultancy.uk/news/3402/booz-allen-hamilton-hired-to-support-5-billion-cstat-contract), a path that took likely a little longer because of the damage Edward Snowden caused. He is no saint and definitely no Ideologist. A failed intervention, that if successful would have given great wealth to Edward Snowden, he gambled and lost a little. Yet in all this the Cyber Security and Information Systems technical area task contract (CSTAT) is nowhere near done. As I see it the cloud might be wonky and leaking data like ‘a sift’, so this is something that needs to be investigated.

This again reflects back to the sometimes ‘ignorant’ press. What they are expecting to receive, and what they really receive are two dimensions, in an age of circulation they are not aligned. Yet getting back to Greece, is also important, you see Paul gives us the part that matters in more than one way: “If Syriza falls, there won’t be a conservative government. It will be replaced by a technocratic government. That’s the plan of the Greek establishment. This technocratic government will mess up. We are really lucky that the fascists want to be black-shirted type hoodlums, because in other countries fascists have developed a brain and reinvented themselves as democratic politicians. We are lucky for the moment that the fascists have no chance of ruling Greece, but that may not be the case forever“, he is only partially right as I personally see it. A technocratic government will do what he expects, but it is more the result of what a technocratic government actually wants. They want profit and non-accountability. Tsipras is right that it is about the people, the Greeks, those who make up the land, but there cannot be non-accountability, which is why I opposed the acts of Tsipras and his rock star associate Yanis Varoufakis. They were wrong, they were never evil. The technocratic wave that comes will be evil, because they will keep alive only those who add to the profit wave, the rest is painted away in spreadsheets. I never signed up for a world like that. In equal measure those who ruined Greece are still not held to account, which I personally see as another failing by Tsipras. They must stand trial and bleed for the hardship they gave the Greek people. There is no other way, the technocrats will take a fee from them and ignore their acts. As the EU falls, it does not fall towards the xenophobes as Varoufakis states, they fall towards the nationalists. I agree that they are not mutually exclusive groups, yet I personally believe that these nationalists are not in fear of non-nationalists, they just prefer nationalists to push their nation forward, something that has not happened in over a decade and non-accountability tends to be weird that way.

So as I look at these elements we cannot ignore Paul Mason who wrote the Guardian article and other too is also linked to #ThisIsACoup (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZsHT2FZkxk). There are elements that I cannot completely agree with, but they are valid views, they look at parts I did not realise/ignored. Yet, they are writing about sides I have been trying to illuminate for over 3 years. So I do not attack ‘How the EU destroyed the Tsipras government‘, I do have a few reservations. That is a good thing, because I never claimed to have all the answers or all the truths. I have a view, based on information, often from valid sources, which is also an issue as we saw on quotes earlier here that the press seems to have been a ‘willing’ propulsion system for spin doctors. This is the issue on many levels, so accepting some truths that might not be in my perception of truth is equally important. So please watch that video on #ThisIsACoup. You will learn a few things I did not know (so I learned a lot too) and parts I never realised. Not because I wanted to be ignorant, but because others would not truly inform its population. Paul Mason also illuminates the issues that 2017 will be bringing. He stated “There is no template for those who had 4% last time are winning the election with 35% this election” which is what the Netherlands are facing with the PVV and what France is still likely to face with Front National. A left template and a right template. Neither is correct and both are essential. If this is truly about national governing it must be about the nation and its population, not in fear, but in enlightenment. In that the Economic industry is feeling the pinch in real ways. Because the changes we see now are becoming the massive fear that Dow Jones, Mossack Fonseca, Rothchild, Natixis and several other financial managers are facing, including the IMF (the Christine Lagarde edition, not the Tom Cruise version).

This need is escalating, especially in light of the revelations last month that due to the actions of DuPont Dordrecht its population has been exposed (for many years) to a large dose of perfluorooctanoic acid (aka C8), even as the Dutch NOS reports “Parliament has decided to take random tests within the population of Dordrecht to look at the consequences of C8, the people are not willing to wait, they want to test their blood as soon as possible. Reimke Hitimana-Willemze of the GGD (Dutch version of NHS) stated that there is no reason for it as there is no treatment this substance will only leave the body over time. She stated ‘Keep your money in your wallet’ (paraphrased from http://nos.nl/artikel/2097987-zorgen-in-dordrecht-om-dupont-fabriek.html)”

This illuminates the massive problem (as I see it). A class-action lawsuit and community settlement had revealed in earlier that Chemours would bear the cost. The fact that Chemours Netherlands B.V. might be seen as a coincidence is one side, the fact that C8 (as shown at http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/121-a340/) gives us also links to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), and pregnancy-induced hypertension. The report has limitations, the reporter notes that there are issues, but the results are too overwhelming. So as we read that this is from 2013, how irresponsible is the response from Reimke Hitimana-Willemze? This is exactly why the shift is growing larger and larger, notably to either the left or the right, but not towards the balance of the middle. You see, the government players have been too deep in the pockets of big business and as such we see misinformation. Is it not weird that yesterday’s article from NOS states: “It is not easy to show whether high concentrations of C8 lead to diseases, according to Warry van Gelder, director of the Albert Schweitzer-hospital (paraphrased)”, I reckon that a mere search on Google revealed that C8 is real nasty stuff and the settlement that DuPont made in 2013 is additional evidence to start immediate blood tests. Especially if there is a chance that a misinformed Dutch parliament makes a quick settlement offer with DuPont (or likely Chemours Netherlands B.V.) at a mere 2% speculated value of the damages, leaving the Dutch NHS to clean the mess up for this fat chemical cat (or is that Chemical Fat Cat?).

This shows as I see it the dangers of spin doctors, especially as the Dutch NOS makes no mention of the 3,500 lawsuits from Ohio and West-Virginia water (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-07/dupont-jury-reaches-verdict-in-ohio-toxic-water-lawsuit) a mere 6 months ago. How did the NOS miss this?

You see, this part only grows the PVV in stronger measures, making the issues Paul Mason mentioned more and more important, in addition, as large corporations are not held to account the consequences of more and more extreme governing is only accelerated and they will be more extreme in dealing with these issues, which tends to be a bad thing as well.

For me there is a shift, the parts reported up to now and the realisation that the movie is bringing. There is an issue with the press, namely a fight between time and value. The issues shown is that speed is not value, the lack of data depth and data realisation deprives value, the speed of it does not equal it. The press is lacking data comprehension centres, something that can oppose spin doctors, which is not realistic because editors are about speed above all, they dumped the level of quality as they are up against the social media message; hacks that rise as the planetary population is lacking more and more intelligence. It is an unequal race and the hacks seem to be winning which will be the biggest loss of all times when that war is done with.

In that we still have the valid question on how Greece can get back on its feet. Making it a tax haven is not really an option but something needs to be infused on Greece. This battle is not one that will be settled any day soon as the economic coup d’état is still developing. As Mossack Fonseca offices are now getting raided the competitors of Mossack Fonseca are still laughing. Consider that for all intent and purposes there is no evidence that Mossack Fonseca has broken any laws. A police force that refuses to clearly intervene in the known guilty El Salvador drug world is eagerly going into a clearly not guilty and non-transgression set Law Firm. How is that anything but a political step and a posturing to scare its customers towards US non-taxable havens? The article from ABC relies on “all under the radar of local authorities“, yet there is no impression at all at present that the law has been broken. Consider that these are the same members of the comedy capers group that never got to El Burro or other members of the Texis Cartel and they are now going after a firm with no established guilt of any kind?

The question that Paul Mason is directing within me is: “Has the press truly become the joke to be played on those not aware of the rules of the land?“, for one part Paul’s acts at present could indicate that I am wrong, but for every Andrew Jennings and Paul Mason, there are at least a thousand ‘anonymous reporters’ hopping for a break and are eagerly taking quotes from the power players in the land. You only need to see the developments regarding Rothchild in the Financial Times regarding Petro Poroshenko as well as the Quay Quarter development (linked to the Rothchild branch), set at a mere 2 billion to see that I am not (entirely) wrong.

 

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This is not Sparta!

You might not realise it, but many of us have a Greek side in us. The gamers are all about ‘This is Sparta!’ as they slay their opponents Gerard Butler style (a Scotsman no less) in Diablo 3, more than a few of them would also consider becoming the consort of Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo), a woman who might be twice their age, but still looks better than the average 25 year old photo model. Some with a more academic approach will be confronted with the Socratic Method as they get through another Uni class. Some will love it, some will hate it. It seems there are no people in the middle ground here. Doctors still recite the Hippocratic Oath and we could argue that Prudence which comes from Phronesis, a Greek word, which got introduced by some old Greek with a beard. I remember the speech, this old guy suddenly making a speech, roughly 334BC, I was watching the Panathenaic Games and suddenly he starts deliberating (at himself) in a most bombastic voice. The man starts ‘ranting’ about something called Nicomachean Ethics, nice, but not while ‘I am watching a game!’ Someone told me his name was Aristotle. I reckon the fab never caught on. Let’s face it, public speakers and the virtue of practical thought, it will never catch on, I reckon. Guess what! It has been 2345 years and I was right! Take this Tsipras fellow, as I see it, he continues a long line of public speakers void of practical wisdom.

That we see in ‘Greece financial crisis: EU offers funds in return for urgent reforms‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/mar/20/greece-financial-crisis-eu-offers-funds-in-return-for-urgent-reforms). You see, this Alexis Tsipras has been in office almost 2 months now and as we can read in the article, he has nothing to show for it. He was supposed to show reform, he now has 10 days and the photo as printed shows away hiding his mouth behind his first. Is it agony, frustration, defiance? Is it all just theatre? The BBC with ‘Greece to draft new reform plan within days – EU leaders‘ (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31963952), which shows a ‘smiling’ Tsipras with the quote “Greece has agreed to come up with a new reform plan within days to secure the additional bailout funds required to prevent bankruptcy“, read those words carefully. It does not state, ‘will finalise’, or ‘will complete the current draft’, it states ‘to come up with a new reform plan’. So when we see the quote “I think that all the sides confirmed their intention to try to do their best to overcome the difficulties of the Greek economy as soon as possible“, I feel slightly miffed. You see Tsipras is all about the blame game. In one part, he has every right to be so, because the mess was not initially of his making. He did get into the elections as he saw he could ‘play’ the voters and now it is crunch time, he cannot deliver, because whatever defiant act he will attempt will cost the people of Greece dearly. As I see it, he’ll end up doing exactly what Antonis Samaras was doing, I wonder if that constitutes election fraud? Promising something, not doing it and doing what the opposition was doing all along. As I saw it (yes, a personal view), Antonis Samaras was a fine politician trying to decently play a really crappy hand that he got dealt. You see, in this regard, none of them have done anything  about holding to response the previous administrations that tailored the deal, that spend money an entire next generation did not have, not to mention the artful tax dodgers, none of that was as I see it done! I reckon that Tsipras would only have to arrest Kostas Vaxevanis to show that he is no better than any of the other previously elected politicians.

You see my emotion here is because I love Greece (Specifically Crete), I feel pain as I see that it is driven into the ground by elected officials, it is largely done so through inactions, which makes it even worse. It is sloth in its most profound form, not just spiritual and emotional apathy, it is done through additional decisive inaction. A form of treason of the worst kind. Almost like the captain of a ship who now INTENTIONALLY goes towards an iceberg expecting the iceberg to get out of the way. It reminds me of an advertisement where the captain of a cruiser (USS Montana) who decided to play chicken with a lighthouse (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYsdUgEgJrY), yet in this case it is not a person being handed ‘incomplete’ or ‘incorrect’ information. In this case we all know the object in front of the good ship Hellenic Republic and its captain(s) have not taken the measures they should have. This is how the news is reading to me. What should have been done is a list of continuing meetings non-stop with all parties. The Greeks were given a play, theatre of a mediocre level and soon they will not be left with any options. As I personally see it, politics of its very worst kind.

All this now reflects in a bad way, especially if we take the word of the NOS (Dutch News). Here we see “‘De verwachting was dat het goed zou komen’, zegt de Rabobank-econoom. ‘Maar het probleem is dat de Grieken steeds hun beloftes breken. Ze proberen steeds opnieuw over de voorwaarden te onderhandelen’” “‘The expectations were that everything would be fine’ said the Rabobank economist, ‘but the problem is that the Greeks break their promises and then try to renegotiate their deal again and again’{translated}” as well as “We zijn wel gewend van de Europese politiek dat oplossingen pas gevonden worden als we bijna in de afgrond stappen” “We are used that European politics will find a solution as we are about to step into the abyss {translated}”.

This all directly reflects back to the days of the SNS-bank debacle ‘too big to fail‘. It seems that Tsipras is taking the ‘let’s take this over the abyss, so I can blame someone else‘ approach. Not the most subtle path of the blame game, but a blame game tactic none the less. When did we see any serious step to address reform from Greece? It seems to me that the ‘let’s be nice one more time to Greece‘ is counted upon, yet no clear and decisive act from the Greek elected officials is coming. So as the possible mark of bankrupt is looming no more than 2 weeks away, did the Greek population consider that if the government is out of money, how much money is actually available at a bank? When the run on the bank starts, how quickly are those coffers empty and where will the people get cash to pay for the average need like food, water and electricity?

That part seems not addressed in any way!

Actually it is (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/greek-coffers-running-on-empty-bring-accident-threat-closer-20150320-1m3nym), the Australian Financial Review is not the only Financial Review paper, so there will be more, but for the most, we see little about this little part: “While Mr Tsipras isn’t saying what’s left in the bank, he acknowledges Greece is facing ‘liquidity pressure’. The country’s cash shortfall is projected to hit 3.5 billion euros in March“. So even if that part might be ‘virtual’ to some extent, how much money is actually available to banks? That part might be seen when we consider “The Bank of Greece has plugged cash shortfalls by tapping the reserves of other public sector entities, including pension funds, hospitals, and universities“, as well as “The Bank of Greece and the European Central Bank won’t report official cash outflows for January until the end of the month. But sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as 25 billion euros (US $28.4 billion) have left Greek banks since the end of December“, which comes from http://www.cnbc.com/id/102439432. So in two weeks, how will things get paid for?

That is a question Greeks (the population at large) should be asking, because when the money is gone, how will they address the bills with the cash of their savings whilst the banks had pushed them in possible other none profit making endeavours? At least, if things really collapse, we can always opt ‘at least it was due to a radical left vision’, in the past (read 70’s), the radical left visions gave way in Italy to Brigate Rosse and in Germany to the Rote Armee Fraktion. Their economy was never this desperate, so I wonder what the Greeks will come up with, I am however sure that it will be blamed on the Germans (again).

In my view, I wonder, was I correct two years ago? Could an independent Crete have created at least a partial economic growth? Would Crete have been better off in a state of independence? I do not proclaim to have the evidence, but I feel that my feeling back then was spot on. Now the rest of Greece could drag down this island against their will.

It seems very unfair, but then in the politics of Tsipras (and that of politicians at large), fairness never had anything to do with it.

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Dante’s Greek tragedy

There are two issues currently in play, one is a local one that gives all kinds of ‘human rights’ vibes and I will get to that in the next instance. This one is all about Greece. There are more than two views. The first view is the one we see in the Guardian. The title “’Talk less and do more’, Greek PM urges finance minister Yanis Varoufakis” (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/08/talk-less-and-do-more-greek-pm-urges-finance-minister-yanis-varoufakis), seems apt, but the Greek PM needs to realise that he wanted a rock star, the visibility, the game. Did he forget that he needs to SHOW results? Guess what, I reckon that he did just that, because after the victory speech, when he needs to get the ball going, the Greek people might start to catch on that the only decent path Alexis Tsipras has is the one that Antonis Samaras had been on in the first place. The second story comes from the BBC called “Greece told to ‘stop wasting time’ over debt deal” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31793145), the two important quotes are “European creditors want to approve a detailed list of reforms before they release any loans to Greece” and “But, so far, Greece has only outlined a broad range of intended changes“.

This links back to the event where a ‘rock star’ is the Greek governments CFO.

The Dutch news (NOS) gives us “Grieken uiterlijk woensdag in gesprek met trojka”, meaning that the Greeks will talk to troika (IMF, EEC and the ECB) within the next 48 hours. Here is as I see it, where the ‘rock star’ will have to ‘earn’ his keep. You see, whatever deal the current government wants to achieve, if they do not make actual commitments, the money ends, Grexit becomes a reality and the Greek way of life will be the first civilisation that became extinct twice. It’s a whole new world!

Still, we must all realise and accept that Grexit is an extreme, one that bankers on a global level are trying to prevent as the consequences for many players will become the realisation that the Dutch SNS bank faced. When the idea ‘too big to fail‘ is replaced with ‘screw that, you’re done!‘ we see another mesh of consequences.

There is another side to all this. If we look at several sources, in this case the quote comes from Al Jazeera we see: “Varoufakis said in an interview to Italy’s Corriere de la Sera newspaper that if the creditors do not eventually approve the reforms, his government could call new elections or a referendum“, which get us to the wasting time part. You see, reforms were ALWAYS at the centre of it all and as such, from the moment they got elected, it was up to Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis to lock themselves up in their office and work on actual possible solutions, even though in my mind, that path was (even though too harshly) walked by Antonis Samaras. You see, in all this, the non taxation, the Greeks with Swiss bank accounts and the lowering of revenue as a whole was the issue no one was willing to address at any time. Add to that previous irresponsible players with bond billions leaving repayment to the successors of government had no solution ever. It all viewed like an episode of comedy capers with the people at large taking the word of a junkie stating ‘trust me’, whilst the junk pointed at a highly mobile fence stating ‘he’ll check the numbers next week’ then the masses at large are surprised that the fence moved on, the junkie partied to death and no one is willing to foot the bill. And this seems to be a government based view.

At the heart is the fact that Greece could be seen as stumbling towards her end directly through inaction. Whilst plans could be presented in 48 hours, what happens when that is accepted and 94 days later a referendum rejects those? What then? Are we held to a new version of the Divine Comedy by Dantris Alighierakis in three parts, EEC, ECB and IMF? EEC is the part that could give us:

Greece enters the realm of indecisiveness

  • Here, the economists sigh as well, but not nearly as loudly or painfully as the tax payers
  • Suddenly, Greece sees a fire break up the darkness. The fire is the glow of a luminous castle and Jeroen Dijsselbloem is there.

And Greece enters the circle of Desire

  • She’s Pheme, a Greek girl and, in terms of blood, something like a princess. During her life, she was forced into a loveless political marriage. However, she fell in love with her husband’s younger brother and had an affair with his credit card. When the husband discovered her spending spree, he foreclosed them both, but ignored the unpaid invoices.
  • Greek, stirred to the deepest fibres of its soul stirred to the extreme by their emotion, sleeps it off and ignores it

And Greece enter the circle of Hunger

  • Greece incites political strife between the EEC and IMF. First the EEC will win a battle and drive the IMF out. But then the IMF will return with the help of the ECB and crushes the EEC, eventually driving many of them into destitution and deadly depression. Greece rallies as the other parties ignore reason so that Greece can continue “spending, ignoring and inaction”

I can go on but I might get way to close to replacing comic banter with plagiarism here, the message is clear, as we see the unfolding of another Greek tragedy, the people will be caught in the middle by inactive politicians, as they rely on their comfortable futures from those they need to deal with and a theatre is evolving where those getting the money are playing a game where the Greek people are left out in the cold. I wonder if Dante Alighieri ever envisioned that his epic work could end up being a metaphor for reality, I feel certain he did not.

Yet, as we look at the elements, will a serious deal be struck? Politicians must remain positive, but between the proposed plan and the actual implementation of it, years will pass, which means that money will be released on an academic whim that might not ever have been a reality. So are we watching the news, or are we watching a newscast presenting an episode of the Punch and Judy show?

This is at the heart of the matter. It also strikes on the next article that takes a harsh look on Human rights, refugees and the UN no less. Because we see the glittering neon presentation on how certain nations are ‘inhumane’, but those making the allegations (living on 6 figure incomes and higher) are very aware that the drive that propels forward humanitarian causes is defiled by the bulk of large corporations that have achieved non taxed status, which means that the coffers of governments are no longer able to foot bills. This links to Greece again as certain implied allegations (at http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/03/greece-outlines-radical-immigration-reforms-150302083444990.html), now we see the quote “Within Greece, Syriza intends to provide alternatives to detention to tens of thousands of asylum seekers and refugees, such as open shelters, assisted voluntary returns, and integration programmes“, the reality is that there is no viable way to get integration programs started, in addition, the Greek unemployment rate is around 25%, so one in four is without a job, so how do you think an integration program will work? Greece had to act on many levels to their ‘immigration’ process, whilst they all know that these people would go on towards ‘wealthier’ and ‘healthier’ waters, like Italy and Western Europe, see Reuters video (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC12vbuWKds), so as there is a report of change towards ‘open’ reception places, where do you think these undocumented people will go to after they have been there for a day or two (catching their breath). This part is all innuendo, but that is at the core. We understand that we need facts, but as we see another Reuters article (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/10/us-eurozone-greece-varoufakis-idUSKBN0M60MN20150310), where we see the title ‘Varoufakis unsettles Germans with admission Greece won’t repay debts‘ with the quotes ““Clever people in Brussels, in Frankfurt and in Berlin knew back in May 2010 that Greece would never pay back its debts. But they acted as if Greece wasn’t bankrupt, as if it just didn’t have enough liquid funds,” Varoufakis told the documentary”, with the added quote “It was unclear when the program was recorded“. Really? Are you the reader that dim, to believe that little line?

Any digital recording has properties, like ‘date filmed’ and ‘last date edited’ as well as who filmed it and so on. They are known as Meta tags, and now we see a lack of clarity in facts? This article less than 6 hours old is nothing less than an introduction to a dance of letting Greece (partially) off the hook, with the possibility that Jeroen Dijsselbloem end up eating some humble pie in public on failing to resolve the Greek ‘issue’. No one wants to hold Greece to account at present (least of all Greece) and all this is a new iteration for those on high incomes to remain to keep the status quo a little longer. The article was written by Madeline Chambers, most important it was edited by Noah Barkin. I am curious to what EXACTLY was edited, what will become part of a managed bad news cycle this time? I get that Reuters will wait for actual facts, as they are a news agency, so as such, the editing might be extremely valid. What is also a fact is that the truth is that less clever people were also aware that Greece could never pay its debt, but what is not acceptable is that we see a European rock tour by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis whilst the newly elected government is another one that could end up being the next one in a line of several elected Greek governments that end up never doing anything serious to tackle a failed Greek tax collection system, a failure that has been around for way too long now.

 

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Memory lane is a freeway

What do you do when you need to look better then you should? Well, the obvious reason some might grasp as is ‘to lie’. So how do you lie whilst remaining truthful? Well, here we get to grasp at the one of the smallest books with the power of a titan. It is called ‘How to lie with statistics‘ and it was the masterwork by Darrell Huff in 1954.

This book has never lost its charm, not even after 60 years of evolving news and economy, it still packs a wallop!

Let’s take a look!

The Dutch bank Rabo told us the following “Despite a downturn in the first quarter of this year, Dutch GDP volume is expected to grow in 2014 by ½%, largely due to a recovery in exports and investments. In 2015 economic growth is expected to accelerate slightly to 1½%, fuelled by a real rise in private consumption” (at https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2014/20140612-Rabobank-Dutch-economy-continues-cautious-recovery.html). You know, this reads somewhat familiar. Ah yes! I remember now, it was May 15th 2013, and my blog called ‘A noun of non-profit‘ had something about the Dutch economy.

Where I wrote the following in addition to the information of the Dutch NOS: “The Dutch NOS reported the prediction that even though the Dutch economy will shrink another 0.5%, they do predict a growth of 1.1% next year. I personally join the group “Oh ye of little faith!” on that one and if they are able to get the economy up to 0.2% positive in 2014 than they would have achieved quite the small miracle

Guess what! A year later it turns out I was less confident by a mere 0.2%, whilst they were overconfident by 0.7%. Now consider that I am NO economist, but I saw the rain and the worry. So were these economists informing the Dutch NOS, brilliantly on the dumb side, or was this an event of managing bad news? I actually do not know and I personally think that this is one of many events where the placer of ‘news’ was not based upon ‘realism’ but on keeping moral high no matter what the numbers are.

Is this fair?

I actually will hold out the ‘do not know!‘ sign. Looking at murky numbers is at times more an art then a science and today’s prophet is tomorrow’s ‘pussy with balls of dough’. Is that even a valid expression? You see, I do believe that we WERE heading in the right direction, but now we get two new players on the market. Actually we get 4 new players in two teams. The first team is Team Anglican with in the South Corner the one, the only the true champion of the British Empire ‘England!’ (Please say it loudly in style of Michael Buffer) and in the North corner, the new contender for the global market ‘Scotland!’ (Repeat Michael Buffer voice). This duo is now at odds and at this point, independence of Scotland is still not a fact. In this era, under these conditions, I remain a ‘stronger together‘ person, not because I am against Scottish independence, but because team 2 and a few other factors could drag down both Scotland and England, especially once they are divided, which is a really bad thing. We as Australians would come to the rescue of both, if at all possible, but our economic gravitas, especially as the previous labour government had spent 627 billion it did not have, we too are bleeding and not in the best condition for any economic price fight.

Team two is the main event and the big potato (no, it’s not Ireland). It is team USA and team Japan. Together they have overspent their coffers by a whopping 28 trillion, yes readers, these two are down 28,000 billion, which exceeds the budgets of both the Commonwealth and the EEC with an uncomfortable margin to boot. So, even if we consider the dead drop of that amount, consider that they need 280 billion per percent per year just to pay the interest on this. This means that every person in the US and Japan need to come up with $636 per person per year, per percent that means if the Us and Japan need to borrow at over 1%, every person in these two nations need to deposit $1272 each year from their net income, in America over 12% lives in poverty, which means that up to 25% of the nation has absolutely no way of making that payment. This is not a new song, it is a song, me, myself, I and many others have been trying to bring forward to the people at large. As we are all trying to survive, no one seems to be listening and the wealthy apparently do not (need to) care. This makes for a dangerous precedent because as we look at the truth of the matter, we see that team two is in such dire economic danger that the entire economic map will be redrawn soon enough. Weirdly enough, the team one issues will give additional pains to both team two and the rest of the world, whilst other events are not helping either.

You see, what can we do? This is at the heart of the matter. I try not to be the one just complaining and then leave it to others, even though I am not sure that my methods would work, it seems that my predictions have been a whole lot more accurate than those from economists making 7 figures (I personally believe I am due a $750,000 bonus, where to send the bill to though?).

Although I see USA as a strong (disregarding their deficit) option, we need to take hard actions, especially as their pharmaceutical (and several other industries) have been, in what I personally regard, a state of mindless infancy. If the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) does not come through, which I personally hope it does not, then the USA would need to change strategies in massive ways, and that is beside several other companies on the list of 30 that Americans keep their faith on high (aka the Dow Jones Index).

But we are not even close to the issues, mainly because this is not some anti-America rhetoric. Truly I am not against America, but against the change some executives want that nation to be, a nation that is no longer one for all Americans, but one where your return on investment and consumer spending decides whether you are allowed to live or not.

Europe as stated is still in a dire mess for several reasons. You see, there are elections in Sweden tomorrow, and for some reason, this is making many non-Swedes nervous. I did not get this at first, because I have lived there, I witnessed them and as elections go, they are as timid as you might think them to be. Watching submarines race underwater from the shoreline is a lot more exciting than the Swedish elections, so what gives?

Well, the first jolt of nervousness can be gotten from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/11/swedish-elections-cracks-showing-nordic-model).

When we see Sweden, we focus on quotes like “it was Sweden that offered answers, having resolved its own debt mess a generation earlier. It is the only EU country that has lower public debt now than in 2006“, which shows Swedish Pragmatism is not confined to the furniture you buy at IKEA. When we think of the family bonds within Sweden (family is always seemed to be a Swedish trademark), we see “The care sector also suffered a privatisation scandal in 2011, when the Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported that an elderly care centre in Koppargården, run by the private company Carema, was catastrophically neglecting its customers, allegedly weighing their diapers to see if they could be used for longer, thus ensuring maximum usage and lower costs” so it seems that the care of the elderly does not have the safety of a Volvo, not to mention “Complaints about poor service and frequent delays on the high-speed train between Malmö and Stockholm also swung the mood against rail privatisation of the railways“. It seems like there is plenty under the covers that is not just upsetting the Swedes.

So how does this all link up?

This is indeed the question, on one side we see the worry of privatisation (which is really a common sense issue), because if someone wants to do it ‘better’ by taking it away from the government, then evidence of decades has shown us that this person is in it for the cash, which means the goal is to get it done cheaper, which gets us to ‘it will never ever be done better‘. At times I do not even comprehend how a population accepts such a fabricated story. But there is more (there always is, isn’t there). All this seems to impact on a European scale. Why? Sweden is not that big, as stated it is lowering debt. It is not a G-20 nation (only as an EEC member, yet not a Euro Zone), so why is there such a massive push here? They are in 7th position representing a mere 3% of the EEC in regards to the GDP, so this should not be such an issue, should it?

This is where it gets a little dicey, especially by the standards I try to keep. If we consider a player like Coface (Coface began to diversify internationally in 1992. Currently, the Group has global capabilities to support its clients’ growth in their home markets and with their exports by offering them credit insurance services tailored to their needs. Source: Coface Website). They stated the following in regards to Sweden.

The country is returning to dynamic growth in 2014, as household consumption will strengthen in response to higher disposable income, thanks to the fiscal stimulus in the context of an election year. Unemployment affected 8% of the economically active population in 2013 and is expected to fall slightly in 2014, in particular because of new jobs created in the public sector“, here we see the two united: ‘particular because of new jobs created in the public sector‘ and the rejection of privatisation. So is Sweden a risk or is this about setting the continuing trend of ‘investment’ which is now holds the taste of ‘exploitation for profit‘. This is at the core of the issues. The world at large is perpetuating a scandalous system that has no limit, will not discipline itself and the larger players will not stop overextending their reach. It is like an elastic band that can double in size and has been stretched long beyond its safety limits for half a decade, stretching more and more each year, increasing risk and danger each week. Sweden is a lovely place and it looks magical around Christmas, yet it should not have the economic impact that some give it. Is Coface the right instance? Well, that is less for me to say as these ‘risk assessors’ at times all seem the same. I did however notice that their CFO looked aged as a teenager, which made me a little nervous. Especially when you see the massive exposure Coface enjoys on an international level.

So why are they in this article? You see, Coface is part of Natixis and Natixis manages the public guaranties granted by the French Government. Yet, Natixis is not just a player, it is a financial Behemoth. Bernard Oppetit who is also chairman of Centauris Capital is on the board there. Who was visible in the past as Swedish Telecom Giant Tele2 was fending of Dutch Versatel. These facts are mere unrelated facts (or so it seems), yet there seems to be an almost incestuous relationship between some of these Hedge funds and Sweden (amongst others). How direct is Nataxis or its subsidiaries connected to some of these privatisations? The water is too murky for me to see, but it seems that Hedge funds have a three degree separation between them and pretty much any government is more than a worry. Nataxis has direct links all over America and has an office in almost every Commonwealth nation (apart from New Zealand and the West Indies). So here we see the first steps into memory lane.

There was a link with SNS Reaal as we see the following “The 5-year Note has a total size of € 1.6 billion and carries a coupon of 3.5%. The Note was issued to a widely spread range of national and international investors. Lead managers were Citi, JP Morgan Securities Ltd., Natixis, Rabobank en UniCredit (HVB)“, the bank that could not fail was before it was nationalised has links to Natixis. When I looked into SNS, I never noticed how deep some connections went, until last night I was not even aware of how far the reach of Natixis goes. Now consider the powers of their board “Any acquisition of a stake in another company or increases in equity investments, other investments, divestments (or the creation of a joint venture) by Natixis or one of its significant subsidiaries representing more than €150 million” as well as “Any transfers, mergers or demergers in which Natixis is involved” (source: Natixis website). So is this the first we see of the larger funds, now squeezing out the remaining coin of the smaller places, because if that is so, we only have to wait and see when Natixis opens offices in the West-Indies and/or New Zealand, because that might be an indicator that the other exploitation wells have truly run dry (a personal, and possibly wrong assumption).

It is of course likely that the true economists (me is not one of them), are laughing in regards to my naiveté, yet who else knew and how is a direct subsidiary of Natixis, setting the credit score and advice for customers, supporting them and securing their transactions by protecting them against the risk of their clients defaulting. As they themselves state it, whilst their ‘big momma’ Natixis, with an impact beyond belief has a vested interest. I would state that ‘incestuous’ does not even close cover the issue.

This is not a jump from whatever to Natixis, this memory highway, as some might recall the issues on the Royal Bank of Scotland, which I also took a look at. When we consider the news from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/business-15212476), we see another view where Natixis has links. The quote “Natixis assumes the following percentage writedowns (or “marks”) on Greek, Irish, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish debt, respectively: 70%, 40%, 40%, 20% and 20%. And then it assumes the banks would need to preserve a core tier one ratio of either 7% or 8% on these stressed scenarios by the end of 2012“, Is the writing on the wall or have we all (including me) ignored a tier of economy, or better stated a commissioned golden lining of profit as certain ‘providers’ remained behind the screens. “You take in greed from the customer and charge them all twice” (sing this line in the tune of Harry Nilsson ‘You put the lime in the coconut‘) and you charge the others in the morning.

Memory lane turns out to be more than just a freeway, as we are limited to walking down this road, the financial advisors and stakeholders are driving back and forth whilst limiting the views we have and the governments involved seem to be driven to not be too revealing on where the money is coming from. It is important to know that all this, whilst true is devoid of any crime, devoid of illegal transactions and possibly even devoid of misrepresentation, yet as I see it a massive misleading amount of presentation towards an audience of taxpayers. So what will happen in Sweden? I do not know, they seem to have an election in less than 24 hours and I find it interesting that it could have an impact. Another vote is soon thereafter on Scotland, which will have an economic impact too. My worry is why the impact is so far beyond the borders of the involved parties, which gives wonder to global statements in the trend of ‘Economic policies in isolation won’t lead to growth in Europe‘. I definitely feel uncertain to oppose such a view, but when we consider players like Natixis, is it perhaps possible that economic isolation leads to a few less dangers? Especially in Europe that issue should be deeper investigated by people who do not have a stake in the game. The writer of the piece I gave was Dr Bryony Hoskins. From what I read, I would categorise her as ‘a really smart cookie’. Yet one of her points is “Encourage collaboration and partnerships between different types of organisations, such as schools, local authorities, youth groups, charities and businesses“, I do not disagree with the generic view, but when we see the involvement on a ‘guiding’ behemoth like Natixis, is there not the danger of government enabling business to push for other long term changes that only serves the business and no one else? With assets well over 300 billion, this player has loads of pushing space, the question is: are they actually pushing?

There is of course the other side, is it fair to blame Natixis for anything (I have not been blaming them)? For example, if we watch all these computers around us with viruses and they are all Windows PC’s, can we state that Microsoft is making viruses? This is at the heart of it all, having your fingers in every pie, could give the thought that any bad pie was because of the fingers, we forget to look at who is making the pies. Yet as we see changes happening in Sweden and as hedge funds and retirement funds are going together, perhaps enabling one another, how dangerous is the stable view of Sweden at present? These searches led me to the attached document named “http___doc.morningstar.com_document_183a66452941e059812946b714604784.pdf”. I do not pretend to understand it. But the risk of ‘5’, when we consider retirement funds and ‘NSIO-OFM1403A’, would give me a reason to worry. LET ME BE CLEAR! I am not an economist!

I added the documents (at the end), so that perhaps those who do know, will know better.

So why am I here then? It seems to be silly, stupid and all other sorts of not bright in a place that I do not understand. The fact that a relative small nation like Sweden could have such stretching consequences on the market was beyond me, yet if I look at the Natixis annual report (at http://ngam.natixis.com/docs/812/834/AF58-1213.pdf), I am confronted with another question. “If one cog in the machine changes direction, what happens to the financial numbers of a behemoth like Natixis?” I am not stating that they are ‘hurt’ in any way. It might be less than a pinprick, but the fact that this company has stakes in all commodities and every large bank that had been slapped around in the last few years; it does make me wonder in light of the issues we faced in 2008. “What happens when a hedge fund bets on a nation failing?” is that such a leap? Only last month several made millions, betting against Banco Espírito Santo. Is my thought really that far from reality? Apparently not! George Soros is already doing this, betting on the collapse of the US stock and he put 2 billion where his mouth was, so was I right all along (at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/18/george-soros-bets-2b-plus-stock-market-collapse-in/)?

http___doc.morningstar.com_document_183a66452941e059812946b71460478414_355_NSI_Bond_b9aeb, 14_355_NSI_Bond_b3c0c

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