Tag Archives: NOS

When the media decides not to tell us

This has been a subject that has been a focal point for me for a while now. The first instance When I got a clear indication was in 2012 when the media on a global scale decided not to inform the people on actions that Sony had taken. The gaming stage for 35 million consumers was changed almost overnight, yet the media trivialised it to the largest degree. It was then that I decided to keep tapping the pulse to see what else was going on.

You will have heard about the issues in Yemen and that the Arabian coalition led by Saudi Arabia is part of this. That you know, but for the longest time, the involvement of Iran and the terrorist organisation Hezbollah was downplayed to a much larger degree, and no one seems to be looking at that part.

In the last 24 hours we were shown to a much larger degree on the dangers that the civil population of Saudi Arabia presently faces (around that airport mind you).

Reuters

Reuters gave us 9 hours ago: ‘Yemen’s Houthis say they attacked Saudi’s Najran airport by drone‘. the article (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-saudi-drone/yemens-houthis-say-they-attacked-saudis-najran-airport-by-drone-idUSKCN1ST1HJ) gives us both: “Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement on Thursday launched a drone attack on a Patriot missile battery in the airport of the Saudi city of Najran near the Yemeni border” and “The group claimed responsibility for last week’s armed drone strikes on oil assets in Saudi Arabia and on Sunday said they would attack 300 vital military targets in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen“, so far nothing really new, other than this is the third attack in a week. When we consider “Najran regional airport is used by thousands of civilians daily” we see a stage where another part is now making entry, but about that more shortly.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera gives us ‘Yemen’s Houthi rebels attack Saudi’s Najran airport – again‘ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/yemen-houthi-rebels-attack-saudi-najran-airport-190523140308211.html), where we are treated to: “The group’s Al Masirah TV reported the drone attack on Thursday came as the Houthis said they would step up their offensive against Saudi targets“, as well as “An explosive-laden drone sent by the terrorist Houthi militia to target Najran airport – which is used by thousands of civilians daily – was intercepted and destroyed by the Saudi air force“. This news is mostly on par, we see the small addition by Colonel Turki al-Maliki that there would be a response but did not elaborate on any details.

I think that we can agree that Reuters and Al Jazeera are regarded as sources of integrity. it is news that so far has always been regarded as trustworthy.

So why is it that this news did not make it to the BBC, yet we were given headlines like ‘PSG boss Al-Khelaifi charged with athletics corruption‘ and ‘Egypt releases students held after exams protests‘. I am not stating that those headlines should not have been there, it is regarded as news, but the attack on civilians by Houthi forces was kept out of the news and that is a little weird, especially as the news on a global level had been slamming Saudi Arabia again and again. The guardian, the New York Times, Washington Post, none of them had it. Yet the Washington Post was eager to report: “In addition to suffering the reputational problems of delivering deadly weapons to governments that clearly misuse them, U.S. defense firms should exercise extreme caution that they are not opening themselves, their officers, and their employees to criminal and civil liability by exporting weapons pursuant to potentially invalid licenses“, it seems interesting that Democrat Robert Menendez was willing to sidestep drone strikes on civil targets at the drop of a hat. In addition, that article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-may-sidestep-congress-on-saudi-arms-deal-drawing-fresh-warnings-from-republicans-and-democrats/2019/05/23/ca4af24e-7d96-11e9-8ede-f4abf521ef17_story.html) also gives us “anxious to protect their authority to have a say on the executive branch’s ability to export lethal weaponry to foreign actors“, the operative ‘foreign actors‘, instead of ‘foreign government‘, this was written by an intelligent person, I accept that and that this is to set the consumer and voting state is also accepted, yet when a newspaper relies on ‘Democracy dies in darkness‘ and it is only giving you part of the information, is that not an equal attack on democracy? when readers are misinformed by only partially informing them, is that not (in the eyes of some people) the larger crime in all this?

The large papers have almost all omitted that part at the moment, and they are not alone, Deutsche Welle, NOS, Swedish news sources, they are all missing out on the Houthi attack, as well as the fact that in most cases the involvement of Iran remains unmentioned in many of the cases. When sources on TV and online are happy to quote President Trump stating: “I’m an extremely stable genius. OK?” (From my point of view absolutely nothing in that sentence was true), and we are not given the attacks on civilians from one side, we need to take a deeper look at the media and why they are given rights when they do it to march all over democracy.

So when we accept that any democracy gives us: “In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue” and we see that we are not given the actual facts of ‘each issue‘, can we consider to agree that what was once a democracy optionally no longer is one?

The media has been about facilitation towards the big companies for too long, it is time to hold the media owners to account, it is the setting where we see that a democracy has turned into an oligarchy, it is the easiest to achieve in a republic setting, as corporations have a lot more power, in a monarchy that is a lot harder to achieve, but the power players in any Oligarchy achieve that by controlling the media and that is what is seemingly happening on a very large scale. It is time that we shine large lights on that part of the equation before the people to the largest degree no longer have any say in the matter. The EU is the best example (they have no hold or any say on the matters pushed for by the ECB), and it is there that we see the failing of democracy and some players are better out than in.

Even as the ECB is only now (after months of assurances that the Euro was looking up) giving the media “European Central Bank policymakers are concerned that economic growth in the euro zone is even weaker than feared“, as well as the Washington Post that gives us (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/a-3-trillion-bond-beast-runs-the-show-in-europe/2019/05/23/db45efa6-7d35-11e9-b1f3-b233fe5811ef_story.html), when we see the headline that I have spoken about for almost 2 years ‘A $3 Trillion Bond Beast Runs the Show in Europe‘, giving the ECB ruling on EU matters, the EU called a democracy now run by non-elected officials not accountable for their actions, whilst they pushed for that debt. That should be regarded that the EU has moved from so called Democracy into Oligarchy and the media stays silent, they need the ECB to feed them for circulation.

The media decided to sway the story, they decided not to tell us and people wonder why Brexit is the only remaining way out? I as a Brexiteer prefer a stage so that people can be held to account, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP) can be held to account, and Mario Draghi President of the ECB cannot. The world is in a dangerous stage and the few that have hold on the media stay out of the spotlight for all the reasons that they consider to be right, do you agree?

I certainly don’t, not with this much evidence out in the open.

 

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The Scott Pilgrim of Technology

There is a moment when we have to take account of actions; we have to push into the direct limelight the ACTUAL dangers. I did some of it when the DJI issues hit the news. With ‘That’s the way the money flows‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/21/thats-the-way-the-money-flows/) we see certain actions, but have you considered the actual dangers?

In this case (for a few reasons I move towards the article in the Verge. Here (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/22/18634401/huawei-ban-trump-case-infrastructure-fears-google-microsoft-arm-security) we see what transpired half a day ago. With the ARM announcement people are getting worried. Yet they validly ask: “halting its access to current and future chip designs and coming on the heels of similar breaks from Google and Microsoft. Huawei is in deep, deep trouble, and we still don’t have a clear picture of why“.

Yes that is seemingly an issue, if there actually was an issue, in addition we are given “There’s never been a full accounting of why the US government believes Huawei is such a threat, in large part because of national security interests, which means much of the evidence remains secret” and that is where the issue is, it is hidden. There has not been one respectable cyber engineer giving a clear account of where the actual flaws are.

So when we see: “There was never any hard evidence of backdoors in Huawei’s cell towers — but, as hawks saw it, there didn’t need to be. As a hardware provider, Huawei needs to be able to deploy software the same way Apple deploys iOS updates. But as long as there was a pipeline from Huawei’s China headquarters to cell towers in the US, there would be a strong risk of Chinese surveillance agencies using it to sneak malware into the network“. We can accept that to some degree, yet the actual issue stated with: ‘there would be a strong risk of Chinese surveillance agencies using it to sneak malware into the network‘. If it is about risk then that risk is actually zero, you see Cisco solved that problem for Russian, Chinese and North Korean intelligence months ago. The fact that all over the US and now Europe, we see the dropping of Huawei as a consideration is not merely an act of discrimination, it could also be seen as an act of customer being betrayed by their governments.

What is the evidence?

As some experts give us something like: “The vulnerability could allow an authenticated, local attacker to write a modified firmware image to that component. A successful exploit could either cause the device to become unusable (and require a hardware replacement) or allow tampering with the Secure Boot verification process, according to Cisco’s advisory” and make no mistake, routers from Parks and recreation, to the Pentagon right up to the White House are optionally affected at present, the list (at https://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20190513-secureboot#vp) shows a list that is impacting vulnerabilities to MILLIONS of devices and the media remains largely silent on it.

And when we also consider: “Other routing and switching gear patches won’t roll out until July and August, with some products slated for even later fixes, in October and November.” we should all realise that Chinese equipment does not make US hardware vulnerable, Cisco (an American company no less) did it for them. The Washington Post is not really covering it, are they? Perhaps because we see (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/brand-studio/wp/tag/cisco-webex) loads of space reserved for partner content, giving us the credo that I have mentioned a few times before. The media has become a whore (or perhaps better stated a person relying on questionable ethics). They cater to their shareholders, their stake holders and their advertisers; there is the real danger and the real vulnerability.

Keeping the people knowingly in the dark from actual dangerous situations, but that is not really what big business wants is it. The dangers that Huawei grew to twice its size was just too dangerous for those on the Wall Street gravy train, and whilst we see these dangers for almost a month, the value of Cisco goes up? Whilst millions of devices are vulnerable with many of them in that state to deep into November, optionally remaining a danger until well into January 2020, for the simple reason that delays are almost inevitable in these situations?

When we realise that we can Google on reported true and false weaknesses that hit Huawei and Cisco, it is shameful to see the following list:

News source

Huawei ‘danger’ given

Cisco vulnerability mentioned

Sydney Morning Herald

Yay

Nay

the Age

Yay

Nay

the Guardian

Yay

Nay

BBC

Yay

Nay

The Times

Yay

Nay

Australian Financial Review

Yay

Nay

Financial Times

Yay

Nay

Washington Post

Yay

Nay

LA Times

Yay

Nay

NOS (Dutch)

Yay

Nay

Dagens Nyheter (Swedish)

Yay

Nay

 

However, in case of the Sydney Morning Herald we do get to see sponsored content for Cisco and the Washington Post gave the readers Cisco Partner content.

As far as I have been able to tell, none of them gave any light to the vulnerabilities in Cisco Routers and Firewalls. Would you agree that a flaw impacting millions of devices is news? Many of them pulled a similar stunt in 2012 regarding Sony in the month before the release of the PS4. In regards to the list, these are supposed to be the more respectable choices for news; the list of absent news giving sources is a lot larger.

Whilst the IT news magazines gave the broader setting (as well as Cisco on their own site), we see that the media is seemingly playing a game of: ‘Let’s rent a hotel room on an hourly rate‘.

When we see Tara Seals in Threatpost giving us: “A critical vulnerability in Cisco’s software-defined networking (SDN) software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to connect to a vulnerable data-center switch and take it over, with the privileges of the root user” (at https://threatpost.com/cisco-critical-nexus-9000-flaw/144290/), I suddenly realise that there is an inner demon with a pitchfork stabbing into my brain telling me that I am a pussy, I disagree! So here it is: “A message for the Pentagon IT department; Do you still have the password ‘Cisco123‘ on some of your routers? If so would it not be a great idea to change it before the Chinese Ministry of State Security and the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (SVR RF) decides to download your servers at their earliest convenience?

I know it is an annoyance, but with Cisco flaws the way they were it is merely a small consideration, and let’s not forget that at this stage no Huawei device was required to acquire the information on your servers. I personally believe that it is time to reward those who do not apply common cyber sense to be rewarded with limelight. I have had to clean up the mess of others for well over a decade and now it is time to give those people the exposure they deserve (my findings regarding Credit Agricole will have to wait for a few more days). When you consider that the flaw also hits the Nexus 9000 Data Centre Switch, a device that is according to their own site ‘Built for scale, industry-leading automation, programmability, and real-time visibility‘, as well as “operate in Cisco NX-OS Software or Cisco ACI modes with ground-breaking Cloud Scale ASIC technology“, and lets be fair, there will always be an issue, a device on such scale cannot be flawless, yet when such a flaw is clearly reported on a level this big and the media merely looks at accusations against Huawei and leaves actual dangers unreported, the integrity of the media has become too large an issue on a global scale.

The issue is twofold for me, the first is that Huawei was never a risk and even as I disagree with the dumb headed approach that the US had, I am very much on the side of Alex Younger (the apparent fearless leader of MI-6), he is merely stating that non-British equipment (in this case Chinese) could be an optional threat in the future. His issue is that this level of infrastructure must be British and he is not wrong, no nation is wrong to have high level infrastructure equipment (whether it is 4G or 5G) in national hands. That is the application of common sense (yet realistically speaking not always pragmatic or achievable). so when he stated last February ‘It’s more complicated than in or out,‘ he is actually spot on, no one denies that. Yet the Americans had their big boots, brainless and started accusations that cannot be proven, that is an issue! For the US it was all about the money and American technology is losing more and more headway, they are literally falling further behind on a daily basis. As I personally see it the direct consequence on iteration versus innovation technology. When the best innovative step is Samsung giving the consumer the ability to share power wireless (which is awesome), even me as an anti-Samsung person will admit that they hit the jackpot with that one. How sad have players like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, INTEL et al really become?

How much of a Scott Pilgrim must we become fighting all the tech companies in the world before we get told the direct truth by the media? How much shaming must we do to make the media make us the number one directive, not the number four option? and as I have been considering more and more to put my IP vision valued at $2 billion public domain and let them fight it out among themselves, basically I am just too tired to engage in another round of bullshit with these so called executives and VP’s who (with the exception of Huawei and Google) do not have a clue on what they are doing in technology in the first place.

The larger problem is not Cisco; it is security and identity management. Most corporations are close to 5 years late into implementing an actual non-repudiation system and that is partially because there is no real good system or good way to ensure non-repudiation, an issue that should have been addressed almost 10 years ago, but never was, I personally tend to blame complacency there. I personally believe that a drive to iteration prevented innovation to get us there, but that is merely my view on the matter and I am perfectly happy to be proven wrong on this specific part.

Dozens of options (I actually had another idea towards a new solution to applied solar technology) all having larger impacts in larger cities and pilot places like Neom City, what does it take for some of these players to wake up and smell the dangers of corporate death through marketing set towards iterative release?

 

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The TV as a weapon

There is an old saying and there are alternatives to it. In Australia we say:

Q: Do you know the difference between ABC and Channel 7?
A: ABC shows you how bad things are in the world, Channel 7 shows you how screwed up your TV life is.

In the Netherlands it used to be NOS versus SBS6, and every nation has its own version. So what happens, when we see the millions of smart TV’s and Apple enters the race opposing Netflix? The New Daily gives the quote: “Spielberg who appeared live, touted the revival of his Amazing Stories anthology, while Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell then took the stage to discuss another Apple original, The Morning Show” with the added: “a range of new streaming entertainment services, as well as financial products, at a star-studded event Tuesday morning“. the message was apparently clearly brought and when we get to see: “Apple is expected to spend US$2 billion this year on original content to challenge established steaming players Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and the forthcoming Disney+ service“, we need to realise that Apple has an optional goldmine in the making. In addition we see: “Hot on the heels of the Google game streaming service, Stadia, Apple launched Apple Arcade in a bid to grab a slice of the multi-billion dollar gaming market“, which will be fun to watch as Apple has shown a keen interest in negating the need of gamers (which is not all their fault in all honesty), will they figure it out this time? At least with the established Android gaming platform size, Google does have a huge advantage for now. OK, apple does have a gaming community on IOS and I was not short selling that (yes, I was). Yet the overall view I have seen in the past gives a better light of gaming to gamers on the android, than the Apple (a mere personal view on the matter).

So here we are watching two streams being created. First is the Netflix drain by Apple and as soon as they realise that 2 billion is a mere stack of money, to get the TV series that get the people to sign up, even besides Netflix will requires series that surpass The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Haunting of Hill House, Bird Box and a few other gems, Netflix has the writers, will Apple have them? We all know that Game of Thrones will enter their final season, so there are plenty of needy watchers to pick up after that conclusion, yet if Apple does not have the IP, they are not going anywhere. Even with the added Spielberg Amazing Stories anthology, which was actually quite decent when it was initially released on VHS, they will still have quite the task at hand. More important, even if they have all the ducks in a row, they will still having to deal with the market shares of Hulu, Stan, Amazon and the forthcoming Disney + service as well (and a few local others). Do they have the IP when that goes online? I can see half a dozen series that could be hits, and I am not the only one. Plenty of dedicated story tellers will have a list. Yet, does the Apple executive (whomever Tim Cook handed this hot potato to), does that person have a clue? The difference between a good presentation and an actual good idea comes with a gap that can fit the Grand Canyon and many Apple executives are a little lost when they face that gap.

It goes further, having a great idea is not enough and most visionaries have that in mind. to see that part we need to reflect on: “Apple, which became the world’s first trillion-dollar company in August last year, had been dropping cryptic hints about the launch event for weeks, sending the internet rumour-mill into overdrive“, yet since then Apple lost well over 20% of its value and the next few ‘slam bam’ misers will dent that even further. The next part is interesting as it impacts gaming and TV.

To get a great product you need at the very least (before marketing gets to have a go):

  1. A script, a story that will compel the reader to go on. Loading it with sex and graphics will only hold a small percentage for some time. A great example of a near perfect script was I Claudius by Robert Graves.
  2. A cast that works well together, each good actors, but together they become ambrosia, wine and nitro-glycerine, all at the same time. Again I Claudius became the golden standard. With Derek Jacobi, George Baker, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, James Faulkner, John Hurt, Patrick Steward, Ian Ogilvy, John Castle, and John Rhys-Davies we got something unheard of. They were already good actors, yet together they created greatness, they are now globally celebrities, but in 1976 that was not a given, they were iron rods and the director shaped them into high tempered steel increasing their mark close to tenfold.
  3. The director. Not merely the man implying 3, 2, 1, action! No, he is the person that becomes the visual visionary and Herbert Wise delivered. The evidence is seen in his work. As a director he has 91 marks on his career rod and when we look at it all, it is all decent work, insightful work, yet I Claudius is a 180 cm person walking in Indonesia (where the average height is 152cm), it stood out tall above all others. So, even as we accept that I Claudius could not have been done without the cast, it equally required the right director to make it work.
  4. The Producer (in this case the BBC), who had to put up the dough with a need of blind faith and no idea how much they were going to lose. These four required to be completely in sync and they were as such I Claudius is still seen as the best BBC drama ever produced, even now, 43 years later we see that new TV series merely hope to equal this achievement, thinking that it can be surpassed is mere folly (yet optionally not impossible).

This is the setting that Apple is trying to get into and throwing 2 billion at it thinking that it will be easy by presenting a few famous people is as reliable as getting rich by spending what you have on blow and hookers. It looks pretty, yet it is an absolute non-winner 100% of the time. Finding the right people will be the task for Apple and as they are all competing for the same pig through increasing the value of good scriptwriters, yet they too are starting to look critical at the offers, because they lose value with every failure and often enough, they do not get to blame the director of the production company, they get to be the scapegoat. So they will require their optional bosses to set an income and levels of freedom and commitment to a much higher degree.

As for gaming

Gaming has a similar setting. It will be about getting the gamers on board and that requires a great product, in an age where Apple has been all about marketed iteration, they are vying for innovation? In a market they do not seem to really comprehend? I am slightly puzzled.

There the director is the project director; the cast are the graphic designers and the scripters and coders. The art and stage might have similar issues, but finding these parts to intertwine and interconnect is where good coders are required. Then there is the learning curve of the game. And it gets to be worse fast when it becomes a product relying on micro transactions. Ubisoft, Bethesda too never quite worked it out and the first screw up will diminish the value of the event overnight. Apple will have to steer clear of micro transactions in the first year by a certainty of 100% and in the subsequent 2-3 years for 90%. Can they afford that game? Their essential path will be the RPG games that call the horn of attendance for gamers on a global scale, if not, than this becomes a long term project that will not end up becoming a winner. In that they have additional competition form makers like Nintendo, their Switch is still gaining momentum and the games I have seen lined up for that system shows that Nintendo is taking this momentum extremely serious. I wonder if Apple has thought this through beyond their return on investment expectations from executives who rely in spreadsheets and lack essential data skills other than identifying their ROI and bonus column. Once that goes south Apple will take a few hits in short succession and they will be painful. If it goes wrong (I am not stating or indication that this is the case), they could face the hits where their total value is a mere 50% of what it was on September 16th 2018.

Yes, Apple could rise high with streaming on TV and consoles, but in the end they require the golden eggs to get there and I am not convinced that they have what it takes to get there. For the most it is an art, I have been involved in gaming since 1984 and I still miss elements in all it. It is both science and an art, the moment you separate the two is the moment you lose. That has been an essential given for close to two decades. Ubisoft got it wrong more than once, Bethesda took massive hits with miscalculations and they are dedicated experts in that field, I doubt Apple has seen that shortfall at present.

To illustrate that we need to look at a game called the Division 2, an Ubisoft product. Important fact, it is seen as a really good game, better than the first version and steps forward, at times leaps forward, some reviewers have stated that is sets a new bar of online gaming and that is awesome to learn. Now add the two headlines: ‘Ubisoft Patches Annoying ‘The Division 2’ Skills Bug‘, as well as ‘The Division 2 PC players report a 100% CPU usage issue, Ubisoft is investigating‘, on games this size this will always happen and the fact that it is looked at and fixed this early is really good, so this is not about pulling Division 2 down. This is what happens on games this big depending on online elements, which is besides server down times. A consequence of online gaming and in this Apple is as I expect it not ready to see gaming to the higher levels it needs to see it.

If they see these two elements as a method to use the TV as a weapon, a data weapon for additional wealth, we see a company that is about to get hit really hard. That is in the foundation of it all. I believe that they are making the same mistake that Microsoft made. Microsoft is talking a good talk, yet the people all over the world are seeing the impact, the most powerful console in the world is being surpassed by the weakest of the three. Their setting of always online, their bullying tactics, their essential inability to listen to gamers (or ignoring what they are being told) is what is dragging down Microsoft and Apple will experience that lesson in a very hard way soon enough if they walk that same silly line.

Just like Microsoft, we see a company that more likely than not does not comprehend gamers and will falter because of corporate ROI needs soon enough. They see the two as connected to grow better, but these are two separate entities (TV and Gaming) representing 6 dimensions that can go in any direction, when these executives learn that lesson the hard way and they are looking what to do next, I will offer Tim Cook my last $99 for the company (Apple, a fruit of the loom division).

Could I be massively wrong?

Absolutely, yet the Apple marketing need of the hype and their viral needs seem to be on my side, as the gaming industry as a whole tends to be as gossipy as any old tea lady, so word would have circulated into my inner core of contacts much earlier, as such I think that Apple is not ready, nowhere near ready, personally I do hope to be proven wrong. I would love to see more contenders in the gaming world, more choice, more innovation and better games is the consequence from that war, and I do love playing good games.

I will keep you all posted on what happens next.

 

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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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